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Qatar to award £22bn rail programme work

Doha metro paves the way for larger rail programme geared towards 2022 World Cup.

Qatar is to award the first major construction contracts for Qatar’s hugely ambitious £22bn rail network early next year, NCE has learned.

Client Qatar Railways Company (QRail) had planned to award key tunnelling and station box contracts on capital city Doha’s metro this month (NCE 14 June). These contracts worth a combined £6.3bn are the core works to get three metro lines up and running in time for Qatar to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

They would have been needed two years earlier had Doha’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics succeeded. Doha was dropped from the host nation candidates in May, giving it more time to build the metro.

The Fifa-approved plan demands that 126km of line be built if Qatar is to host the World Cup. Of this 58km will be in bored tunnel and 46km on elevated sections.

Saudi Binladin and a local Qatari company are already carrying out enabling work.

Project manager Hill International has confirmed that most tenders for the main civils works are due by the end of November. Major stations are rolled up into a single contract, with five line segments each split into two construction packages, one for tunnels and another for elevated structures (see box).

Competition for the work is fierce. An unprecedented 280 bidders from around the world submitted expressions of interest last September. QRail invited 26 to tender in April.

Contract award announcements are expected early next year, and this will be the trigger for ordering the 16 to 20 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will be needed for the job.

They have a 12 to 18 month delivery timescale, and in that time detailed design will take place and TBM launch pits will be constructed across Doha.

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