Major global companies vying for metro project

A NUMBER of major international companies have expressed interest in working on Bahrain’s ambitious metro project.

These include firms specialised in mass rapid transit and construction activities from countries such as France, China and India.

The Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry had floated a tender for the project last year, saying that it would “pre-qualify suitably experienced companies with relevant expertise to design, build, finance, operate, maintain and transfer the project”.

The GDN has secured the list prepared by the Tender Board of pre-qualified applicants for phase one of the project.

From Bahrain, three companies are on the list as part of consortia. They are Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali, Almoayyed Contracting Group and GFH Financial Group.

Indian companies making the grade are Larsen and Toubro Limited and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited.

Three Chinese companies have been listed, according to a spokesman from the Chinese Embassy in Bahrain.

These include consortia such as the China Railway Group Limited, China Railway Construction Corporation International Limited and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited.

The spokesman added that the Chinese government supported and encouraged competent enterprises to take part in the economic and social development of Bahrain.

“Firstly, the Belt and Road Initiative of China is highly compatible with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030,” he said.

“We will actively support bilateral exchanges and co-operation in economy, trade, investment, tourism and other fields to benefit people of both the countries.

“Secondly, Bahrain Metro project is an important social livelihood project.”

He said the three Chinese companies were all high-end famous enterprises in the construction industry.

“Highly praised by global users, they have built large-scale engineering projects in many countries. If these enterprises win the bid, they will surely create an excellent quality and world-class project.”

A French embassy spokesman said four companies are part of an European consortia that has bid for the metro project.

Two French companies participating are Five Capital and Alstom Transport, while two Italian-based companies that have expressed interest are Hitachi Rail STS and WeBuild.

The GDN reported last month that the ministry’s assistant under-secretary for land transport Hussein Ali Yacoub told the Muharraq Municipal Council that the metro’s four stations in the governorate will all be located along the Airport Highway.

The main station at Bahrain International Airport is under review with the Bahrain Airport Company.

The three other stations will be located at King Hamad University Hospital, Muharraq Health Centre and the former Oasis Mall.

Mr Yacoub added that the first phase of the metro project will focus on a 28.6km segment out of the total 109-km-long line and will be able to handle 43,000 passengers per hour.

Eventually, the project will feature 20 stations across Bahrain.

The rail lines will link to a new King Hamad International Station and join the GCC railway network.

Work will start from the airport to the Educational Area in Isa Town covering Salmabad, Juffair, Seef, Bab Al Bahrain Area and Al Farooq Junction.

The government has allocated an initial BD11.7 million in the draft 2023-2024 national budget to cover parts of the project, which is expected to be complete in 2029.

In 2018, Bahrain announced plans to develop a 109-km-long fully-automated, driverless metro system in four phases – estimated to cost around $2 billion.

It would be developed through an integrated public-private partnership in a two-stage process comprising pre-qualification followed by the main tender.

The selected private partner will implement the project with a contract period of 35 years, the government said.




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