Bin Ladin goes it alone on Saudi mega rail job

Construction giant says it is capable of handling the work as other contractors team up

  • E-Mail
By  Construction Week News Team Published  August 5, 2006

The Saudi Bin Ladin Group will go it alone on the North-South Railway project in Saudi Arabia, even though 16 other companies have formed carefully planned joint ventures with specialised contractors. The project, which is tipped to be the Middle East’s largest ever rail project, costing US $2 billion (SR75 billion), is to be split into four main contracts comprising earthworks and bridges, ballast and track installation. Contractors collected the tender documents last week, and they must be returned to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia by 24 September. The contracts are scheduled to be awarded by the end of this year. Speaking to Construction Week, Ahmed Anees, project coordinator, Saudi Bin Ladin Group, said: “No one has approached us looking to form a joint venture so we’re going to go for it alone. We’re capable enough to handle all the work on our own. We do have some subcontractors who we may work with if we win the job, but at the moment nothing is decided.” A year ago, the consultant on the project had expressed fears over selecting a single contractor to design, build, finance and operate the track and trains, as the risk involved seemed unfeasible. “We didn’t approach the Bin Ladin Group because we had already tied up with Saudi Oger,” said Harjinder Singh, executive director, Ircon International — one of the pre qualified companies and a partner of Saudi Oger vying for the job. “We have been in talks with the Bin Ladin Group over other jobs but nothing really worked out. We are open to working with it, of course, but we’ve never approached the company.” The works cover: construction of the roadbed (83 million m3 of earthworks); 254 concrete bridges; culverts (1059 sites); production of concrete sleepers (4.6 million units); procurement of rails (4,800km); flash-butt welding of rails (194,000 welds); production of crushed rock ballast (6.1 million m3); and installation of the mainline track structure (2,400km). The project is expected to be completed by 2011. Applicants/Lead Partners 1. Gamuda Berhad (Malaysia) 2. Russian Railways 3. Orascom (Egypt) 4. CITIC Group (not identified) 5. Saudi Oger (SA) 6. Daelim Industrial Company (Korea) 7. Barclay Mowlem Ltd (Australia) 8. Philip Holzman (Germany) 9. Shibh Al Jazira Co Ltd (SA) 10. China Railway Construction Co 11. Saudi Bin Ladin Group (SA) 12. OHL (Spain) 13. Third Engineering Group of China Railway 14. China Railway 18th Bureau Group Co 15. Sojitz Corporation (not identified) 16. Al Hokair (SA) 17. China Railway 1st Group 18. Saudi Emirates Malaysia Korea Consortium

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code