Russia to bid on Saudi Arabia's rail construction projects 'soon'

The head of sovereign wealth fund RDIF said Russian Railways will apply for a rail project from Saudi

Russia will reportedly bid soon for the construction of railways in Saudi Arabia [representational image of Haramain Rail].
Russia will reportedly bid soon for the construction of railways in Saudi Arabia [representational image of Haramain Rail].

Russia will reportedly submit an application soon for the construction of railways in Saudi Arabia, just two weeks after the kingdom opened its first high-speed rail link between the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

According to reports by Russian state news agency Tass, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investments Fund (RDIF) and board member of Russian Railways, said: “Russian Railways will apply for the construction of a railway from Saudi Arabia.

“We believe that Russian Railways has one of the best competencies in the world in the construction of railways. For example, now in India, Russian Railways will be one of the country's main partners in the construction of railways.”

PODCAST: Is construction in the GCC rail sector on track?

RDIF is Russia's sovereign wealth fund. Dmitriev was talking to reporters on the sidelines of Future Investment Initiative (FII) 2018, the high-profile investment conference – backed by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund – that took place in Riyadh on 23-25 October 2018.

His comments came as various rail projects in the kingdom continue to pick up steam.

READ: UAE and Saudi Arabia lead GCC rail, metro construction schemes

At FII 2018, an agreement for Phase 2 of Haramain Rail was signed, one of the many megadeals signed at the investment conference. Nabil Al-Amoudi, the kingdom’s Minister of Transport, oversaw the memorandum of understanding that includes a Spanish consortium working on the project, as reported by Construction Week.

This news came one month after Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud officially opened the 450km Haramain High-Speed Rail link – the first-ever high-speed rail network in the region that connects the kingdom's holy cities and can carry up to 60 million passengers per year.

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