Riyadh Metro on track: Contract worth $8bn awarded

Eight metro lines to span 176km

The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) has awarded the FCC-led consortium one of three contracts to build the Riyadh metro, the longest subway system under development in the world (176km).

Infrastructure and environmental services group FCC said in a media statement today that it has been awarded one of the contracts to build the metro, which has an estimated budget of over €16.3 billion ($21.6bn), i.e. 2.5 times the cost of the Medina-Mecca railway.



The contract includes the design and construction of lines 4 (orange), 5 (yellow) and 6 (purple), which will have 25 stations. Construction will include 64.6km of rail track: 29.8km of viaducts, 26.6km of underground track, and 8.2km of overground track.

The FCC contract is worth €6.070bn ($8.05bn), and is the largest international contract in the history of construction in which a Spanish company has been awarded a contract. FCC’s main consortium partners are Korean company Samsung and French company Alstom. The other members are Strukton (The Netherlands), Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa (Spain) and Setec (France). The project is to be executed in five years, and will employ 15,000 people.



Juan Béjar, Vice-President and CEO of FCC, said: “The Riyadh metro contract consolidates Spanish companies’ international reputation in global civil engineering projects. FCC’s references were instrumental in our successful bid for this project. The Riyadh metro contract dovetails perfectly with FCC’s new international strategy in construction, which is focused on infrastructure and on countries where we can best leverage our capabilities.”

The Riyadh metro is one of the largest public works projects in the world at present. The process commenced in July 2012, when 37 consortia comprising world leaders in construction, rolling stock and railway systems presented expressions of interest. Only four of these candidates were pre-qualified: those headed by Siemens with Vinci, Bombardier with OHL, and Ansaldo with Strabag.



The consortium headed by FCC will use three tunnel boring machines (TBM) to build tunnels almost 10 metres in diameter for the three lines. These lines will use two-car conductorless trainsets supplied by Alstom. There will be four types of stations: elevated, ground level, underground and intermodal to connect with different lines.

The largest subway project in the world

The six lines comprising the Riyadh metro project will span more than 176km, making it the largest metro under development in the world at present.

Construction will require 600,000 tonnes of steel (80 times the amount used to build the Eiffel Tower) and 4.3 million cubic metres of concrete (11 times the amount used for Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper), and will employ over 30,000 workers, of which more than half correspond to the consortium led by FCC.



This new metro will transform Riyadh, reducing traffic congestion, strengthening and driving the Saudi economy and improving living standards for citizens.

Riyadh currently has a population of 5.7 million, which is expected to increase to 8.3 million by 2030. The subway is a solution to daily traffic problems: of 7.4 million daily commutes; only 2 per cent use public transport.

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