Bahrain to tender US$2 billion metro project next year

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Bahrain to tender US$2 billion metro project next year

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An advisor to the Transport Minister of Bahrain has stated publicly that the Ministry plans to tender its first metro project next year. The metro rail system will span 109km and cost between US$1.5 and 2 billion to construct.

The tender, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019, will seek private investors to construct, operate and finance the metro, though the project will receive some government funding. It is not known whether all of the above responsibilities will be contracted to one private entity or the tender will be structured to award, for example, construction and operations contracts to different bidders.

The Transport Ministry has completed the feasibility study for the project. It is thought that the system will be built in four phases over a four-year period and be equipped with electric driverless trains that will carry 43,000 passengers per hour.

The first phase will involve the development of two metro lines covering a 30km2 area and 20 stations. The first line, to be called the Red Line, will connect Bahrain International Airport to King Faisal Highway via Muharraq, going on to Bahrain Financial Harbour and the Seef District. 

The second line, the Blue Line, is planned to start at Juffair, transporting passengers to Al Fateh, the Diplomatic Area, Central Manama Market and Isa Town. It will connect to the Red Line via a central interchange station at Bahrain Financial Harbour.

After the first phase commences commercial operations, the Transport Ministry will conduct an extensive study to gauge interest in the planned future phases.

The project is part of Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, which is based around three guiding principles; sustainability, fairness and competitiveness, aligning with the Ministry's decision to use an international tender process to secure private sector participation in the project.

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