By Andy Sambidge
Rail deal secured as company says its Middle East unit has performed strongly so far in 2014
UK-based design, engineering and consulting firm WS Atkins said on Wednesday that it has been awarded a £80 million ($135 million) contract linked to the multi-billion dollar Doha Metro project.
"We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the role of lead designer for the Doha Metro Gold Line in Qatar," the firm said in a statement.
Atkins has been appointed by the consortium of contractors which is delivering the Gold Line on behalf of Qatar Railways Company, comprising Greek contractor Aktor, Yapi Merkezi and STFA from Turkey, India's Larsen & Toubro and the local Qatari company Al Jaber Engineering.
The total capital cost of the project is more than £2.5bn and Atkinsa said its design role is worth around £80m to the Group over the next couple of years.
Construction of the 32-kilometre long tube is expected to be completed in 2018. The Gold Line is the most challenging of the five contract packages to be awarded for phase one of the Doha Metro, which is set to complete in 2019.
The other four contract packages - Red Line North, Red Line South, Green Line and Major Stations, were awarded in May 2013 under deals worth a combined $8.2bn.
It is the latest contract won by Atkins' Middle East unit which has seen strong performance so far in 2014.
The company said it continued to deliver work on a number of significant metro projects and benefit from increased activity in the property market in the region.
In its Interim Management Statement, Atkins said it has traded in line with expectations since April, boosted by performance in the Gulf region.
It said that despite currency headwinds, its Middle East unit "had enjoyed a strong start to the new financial year".
Globally, the company said its financial position remained strong, with net funds at the end of June of around £165m.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.