Bahrain is all set to kick off work on its ambitious metro project following the approval from the transportation ministry for the launch of the first phase of the 109-km long rail network, which is estimated to cost around $2 billion.
Confirming this today (October 20), Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed said the government has decided to proceed to the tender stage following a Market Consultation event held in March earlier this year which received a highly positive response from the private sector.
This represents the first phase of the government’s ambitious plans for developing a 109 km rail-based urban transit network (Metro) and consists of an elevated corridor with two lines having an estimated length of 28.6 km with 20 stations and two interchanges, he stated.
The project is expected to be procured through a 2-stage global and competitively bid public tender process comprising Request for Qualification followed by the Request for Proposal. The RFQ process is expected to commence in November 2021.
Bids will be open to interested participants as part of consortium partners and downstream contractors able to undertake the comprehensive scope involving design and construction of civil structures like viaduct, stations in addition to procurement, operation and maintenance of the transit system over the contract period as well as financing the cost of the project.
Reiterating the significance of the project, Kamal Mohammed said: "This project marks an important milestone as it will provide a fast, comfortable, reliable, sustainable and modern transportation system in the kingdom, thereby improving the standards of living."
Regarded as the gateway to the Gulf’s larger market, Bahrain ranked as top global business climate improvers according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report.
Bahrain has extensive experience of successfully procuring large infrastructure projects on a PPP basis across sectors, said the minister.
Some of the noteworthy projects that have been delivered successfully on PPP basis in Bahrain include the Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Al Dur 1 & 2 Independent Water & Power Project, Bahrain LNG, Bahrain bus system, Muharraq STP and Northern City and Al-Lawzi housing projects.
The ministry has appointed a team of financial, technical, and legal advisors led by KPMG as the lead transaction advisor, Egis as the technical advisor and DLA Piper as the legal advisor for procurement of this project on a PPP basis.