Abu Dhabi agrees Etihad Rail Stage 2 funds ahead of new building tenders
A financing deal has been inked for Stage 2, and civil engineering tenders are due by the end of this month
The UAE's Ministry of Finance and Abu Dhabi Department of Finance have signed an agreement for the financing of Stage 2 of the Etihad Rail national rail network. Etihad Rail has posted significant construction-related progress in 2018, most notable of which is the completion of preliminary designs for Stage 2 of the project in preparation for the launch of civil engineering tenders by the end of this month.
According to a statement, Etihad Rail is "now in advanced stages of commercial and technical negotiations with an extended range of potential partners".
Stage 2 will extend 605km from Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast, to be followed by future route additions. The volume of goods transported by Etihad Rail will increase from 6.35 million tonnes per year during Stage 1 to more than 45.3 million tonnes.
Commenting on the agreement, HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “At Etihad Rail, we are working with a strategy to meet our mission and objectives. This project is part of our commitment to the UAE to help it achieve a leading position in transportation quality, in line with UAE Vision 2021, which aims to transform the emirate [...] by transitioning to a knowledge-based economy, promoting innovation and research and development, strengthening the regulatory framework for key sectors, and encouraging high value-adding sectors.”
In 2015, Stage 1 of the project, which extends 264km, was delivered, linking the Shah and Habshan gas fields in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi to the port of Ruwais on the Arabian Gulf, with a capacity of transferring almost 20,000 tonnes of sulfur granules per day.