Saipem, Tecnimont and Dodsal win UAE rail deal

Oct 26, 2011 12:00 AM

Etihad Rail -- the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network -- has awarded the Civil & Track Works contract for the first stage of the network that will link the Western Region cities of Habshan and Ruwais by 2013 and then Shah and Habshan by 2014.
The contract was awarded to a consortium comprising Italy’s Saipem, Tecnimont and UAE-based Dodsal Engineering and Construction.

The rail project has seen an accelerated pace of delivery since the Shah sour gas project, which will generate millions of tons of sulphur bi-product, was signed with Occidental Petroleum in January this year after fellow American firm ConocoPhillips bailed out of the project.
The Shah gas project involves development of high-sulphur content reservoirs within the Shah field, located onshore approximately 180 km (110 miles) southwest of the city of Abu Dhabi.

The project will involve development of several gas gathering systems, construction of new gas and liquid pipelines and processing trains to process 1 bn cf of high-sulphur content gas. This is anticipated to produce approximately 500 mm cfpd of network gas and a significant amount of condensate and natural gas liquids.
Transporting the sulphur away from the desert gas field will be the rail company's primary task ahead of transporting passengers around the UAE.

The successful joint venture was selected by way of a competitive tendering process, following an international-standard process of prequalification, short listing and tendering, which commenced in the last quarter of 2010.
The AED 3.3 bn Civil & Track Works contract comprises the design, procurement and construction of the railway infrastructure, in addition to the testing and commissioning (on a design and build basis) of all assets relating to the completion of the first phase of the project. In addition to that, the contract includes the earth works and track’s site grading, bridge structures, communication systems, and the development of the depot at Mirfa.

This contract award follows the official signing by HE Nasser Al Sowaidi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Rail, earlier of the company’s agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the transportation of up to 7 mm tons of granulated sulphur annually. This agreement -- along with the Civil & Track Works contract award -- will see the commencement of construction of the first phase of the network.
Commenting on the key announcement, Richard Bowker, CEO of Etihad Rail, said: "We are so delighted to announce today the appointment of the Civil & Track Works contract for the first stage of the network. This milestone contract truly marks the start of the realisation of a national railway network on the ground and beyond the planning stages.”

“Thanks to our team’s unwavering dedication, passion and commitment, our landmark project is making massive progress and actual construction is now imminent. With this key contract in place and with our signed agreement with ADNOC, our vision is becoming a reality and we’re getting closer and closer to seeing the first trains run in 2013.”
Once complete, Etihad Rail’s $ 10.8 bn 1,200 km route network will connect urban and remote communities throughout the country.

The network will facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development.
The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network -- linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.

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