Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's integrated railway network, has launched the construction works of Package A of Stage Two of the pan-emirates railway network.
Package A will run 139 km long from Ghuweifat on the UAE-Saudi Arabia border to Ruwais in Abu Dhabi, where it connects with Stage One of the network.
Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, and also Etihad Rail, said: "As 2020, the year of preparing for the next 50 years, begins, we launch the construction works for this pivotal national project that will generate a paradigm shift in the country’s transport sector, consolidating the UAE’s position at both regional and global levels."
"With this launch, we are witnessing a remarkable day for Etihad Rail as we see the transition from planning and design to actual implementation of the project on the ground, following in the footsteps of our founding fathers and as we implement one of the nation’s most strategic projects, one that contributes to the economic development of the country by providing a safe, reliable and integrated alternative mode of transport," stated Sheikh Theyab in the presence of the company's board of directors.
He later received a detailed presentation on the construction works to be carried out on Package A. This includes utilisation of 700,000 cu m of ballast besides involvement of 30 million tonnes of earthworks and installation of over 450,000 concrete sleepers provided by Etihad Rail’s own manufacturing plant.
After the launch, Sheikh Theyab attended the signing of a contract between Etihad Rail and a joint venture between India's leading construction conglomerate Larson and Toubro (L&T) and Power China International for the construction of freight facilities for the railway network at a total cost of Dh1.87 billion ($509 million).
Under the terms of the contract, the two companies will be jointly responsible for the surveying, design, construction, equipment installation, testing and pre-commissioning of each facility, said the statement from Etihad Rail.
Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak signed the contract with Anupam Kumar of L&T and Hong Lee of Power China International in the presence of SN Subrahmanyan, the managing director of L&T and Wu Wenhao, President of Power China International.
Etihad Rail is building a series of freight facilities in Ruwais, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), Khalifa Port, Dubai Industrial City (DIC), Jebel Ali Port, Al Ghayl and Siji, Fujairah Port and Khorfakkan Port capable of undertaking all loading and unloading operations, in addition to providing container storage and maintenance.
The planned port facilities will provide a full service to Etihad Rail customers, including direct access to trains on the dock, easing container movements between ships and trains.
These facilities, will become the UAE’s main rail transit system for local, regional and international distribution and logistics, with bonded storage and customs on-site, said Sheikh Theyab.
Meanwhile, the other facilities centres will serve several sectors, including building materials, as they will contribute to transporting more than 30 million tons of various types of raw materials from their sources in the north of the country to the main markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for use in the construction industry, stated the top official.
With this award, Etihad Rail has completed the contract-awarding process of Stage Two of the national network which will connect Fujairah and Khorfakkan on the UAE’s east coast to the UAE’s Saudi border at Ghuweifat, he added.-TradeArabia News Service
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