Barclay Mowlem wins NSR deal

Australian-led consortium picks up US $766 million package for mineral transport line on North South Railway Project.

The NSR Project will have a combined total length of 2,400km, which is divided into four geographical phases
The NSR Project will have a combined total length of 2,400km, which is divided into four geographical phases

A consortium led by Australia's Barclay Mowlem has picked up a US $766 million (SR2.9 billion) contract for a phase of Saudi Arabia's North South Railway (NSR) Project.

The consortium, which includes Japan's Mitsui and Saudi Arabia's Al Rashid Trading & Contracting Company, will build a section of the NSR to move minerals from Saudi Arabia's interior to the Gulf coast.

An NSR official said: "The railway line will be around 750km long and will be used to transport phosphate to Al Jalamid. The consortium has been given three and a half years to complete the project."

The NSR will be approximately 2,400km long, divided into four phases, which relates to four major geographic segments. Phase A is 650km long and will be dedicated to transporting minerals such as bauxite from Al Zabirah to Ras Al Zawr.

Phase B will transport phosphate minerals and will cover 782km from Al Zabirah, running though Al Zabirah Junction to Al Jalamid. Phase C is the passenger line, which will cover about 530km from Riyadh to the Zabira junction, through Buraidah, while Phase D is a 438km extension from Al Jalamid junction to Haditha and Basayta on the Jordanian border.

This is the second of the four lines that has been awarded; the first was given to Saudi Bin Ladin group.

Ahmed Arees, project coordinator, Saudi Bin Ladin, said: "Bids for the third line are still in assessment, while the fourth still has to go out to tender."

The consultant on the project is a consortium of Khatib & Alami, Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company, France's Systra and Canada's Canarail.

The NSR is owned by the Public Investment Fund of the Ministry of Finance.

Seven consortiums have also submitted bids to build and operate a 450km-long high-speed railway linking the Saudi Arabian cities of Medina and Makkah.

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