Saudi Focus

Private players sought for big rail projects

August 2017

In a major move, the Saudi Public Transport Authority (PTA) has opened its doors for the private sector, inviting global pioneering companies to partner in the construction and operation of railways in the kingdom, said a report.

PTA has called upon experts in the field of building and operation of railway transport services to forge long-term strategic partnerships with Saudi companies in this vital sector, reported the Saudi Gazette, citing a top official.

Partners are being sought for the construction and operation of Riyadh-Dammam Railway, the Northern Railway as well as the Land Bridge Project that would connect the Arabian Gulf with the Red Sea, and other future projects, said Minister of Transport Sulaiman Al Hamdan.

This will be in co-operation with the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) and Saudi Railway General Corporation, stated Al Hamdan, who is also the chairman of the board of PTA.

Al Hamdan has also unveiled plans to privatise some key sectors such as the public transport and roads in addition to airports and seaports.

In a related development, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced that it plans to start privatising the sewage sector offering three key projects in five cities and governorates across the kingdom.

Muhammad Al Muwakali, the CEO of National Water Company, said that a consortium comprising three international consultants will be involved in the initial phase of the project.

The new sewage treatment plants (STPs) are Jeddah Airport Plant Two, a plant west of Dammam, and a network of plants covering Turaif, Arar and Sakaka.

A contract has been signed with an international consultant specialised in preparing tender documents and subsequently the STP projects will be awarded on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis to the private sector.

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