Four consortia pre-qualified for Riyadh Metro

Groups led by Canadian, French, Spanish and Austrian firms given nod

It is hoped the metro system will go some way to alleviating the notorious congestion on Riyadh's roads
It is hoped the metro system will go some way to alleviating the notorious congestion on Riyadh's roads

Saudi Arabia has pre-qualified four consortia, including ones led by Spain’s FS Engineering and Construction and Austria’s Strabag, for the building of a metro system in Riyadh, Reuters reports.

State news agency SPA said the pre-qualified consortia were made of 33 companies from 15 countries and included some of the biggest train manufacturers in the world.

The Saudi cabinet approved plans in April to develop a new public transport network in the city within four years that would include both a metro and a new fleet of buses, with the consortia for the bus project being assessed separately.

The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) gave no cost for the project but metro systems typically cost of billions of dollars to build.

One consortium is led by France's largest-listed construction and concession's firm, Vinci and includes Germany's Siemens, the state news agency said.

A second is led by Canadian firm Bombardier and includes Turkey's Yapi Merkezi, Spain's Obrascon Huarte , Korea's GS Engineering and Construction Corp , and Britain's Serco.

A third consortium is led by Spain's FS Engineering and Construction. It includes France's Alstom Transport, Korea's Samsung C&T Corp..

The fourth consortium is led by Austria's Strabag and includes Italy's Ansaldo STS, Switzerland's Stadler Rail, India's Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Britain's Hyder Consulting and U.S firm Worley Parsons.

Saudi Arabia has only limited public transport facilities and Riyadh suffers grinding congestion for much of the day and into late evenings.

In December, the government unveiled a $184bn (SAR 690bn) budget for 2012, as it seeks to boost infrastructure, education and health.

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