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Etihad Rail is well on its way to realising its vision for the 1,200-km network.

Plans for the UAE’s national railway are now set to steam ahead with the award of three packages of the much-anticipated Stage 2, which will extend the network of the ambitious project by 605 km from Ghuweifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast.

Etihad Rail, developer and operator of the national railway, has awarded the three packages – A, B and C – and is expected to award the contract for the final package in Stage 2 – Package D – later this year.

Package A of Stage Two, awarded in March, runs for 139 km connecting Ruwais with Ghuweifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia, and includes a tie-in with the existing Stage One line.

Stage One of the project, which extends 264 km, was delivered and has been fully operational since 2016, linking the Shah and Habshan gas fields in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi to the port of Ruwais on the Arabian Gulf. It transports sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to the export point at Ruwais.

Packages B and C were awarded in June. Package B will stretch 216 km connecting Tarif to Saih Shuaib, and includes trackwork to support works at Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), Khalifa Port and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad); while Package C will run for 94 km connecting Jebel Ali to Sharjah, and will include trackwork within the Jebel Ali Freight Terminal.

The contract for Package A, valued at Dh1.5 billion ($408.441 million), was awarded to a joint venture between China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction. The scope of work covers the design and construction of rail infrastructure, including earthworks, bridges, tunnels, animal crossing, track-laying, and linking with Stage One of the network at Ruwais.

Contracts for Packages B and C, worth a total of Dh4.4 billion ($1.198 billion), were awarded to the China Railway Construction Corporation and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting. The scope of work for these packages comprises civil and track works, design and construction of rail infrastructure, including earthworks, bridges, tunnels, animal-crossings and track-laying, connecting Package B with Package A (Stage One at Tarif), and Package C with Package B.

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