Dubai awards Alstom-led consortium $2.88B metro extension
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai's transport authority announced Wednesday, June 29, it had awarded a French-led consortium a $2.88 billion contract to extend its metro network to the site of the Expo 2020 world trade fair.
The consortium, led by France's Alstom Conglomerate and also including Spain's Acciona and Turkey's Gulermak, will construct a 15-kilometer (9-mile) extension to the site of the fair, a statement said.
Alstom will supply 50 trains, 15 of them for the new extension and 35 to upgrade existing services, the statement said.
Ten international consortiums bid for the project, it said.
"Negotiations were made with two of them in the final stage," it added.
Road and Transport Authority chairman Mattar al-Tayer told AFP that a Japanese-led consortium including "capable" Mitsubishi was the runner-up but Alstom's offer was cheaper.
"Both of them are competent but financially we find it cheaper for us to go with Alstom," he said.
The government has already provided $409 million for the first 6 months, Tayer said, adding that the RTA has different options for funding the remainder of the project.
The consortium, dubbed Expolink, will begin work on the project in the final quarter of 2016, Tayer told a briefing.
Services should begin on May 20, 2020, 5 months ahead of the trade fair, he said.
Alstom led a consortium that built Dubai's 10-kilometer (6-mile) tramway, which cost just over one billion dollars and opened in 2014.
The Dubai Metro, which transformed transportation in the Gulf city state when it opened in September 2009, was built by a consortium led by Japan's Mitsubishi.
Alstom chief Henri Poupart-Lafarge said his consortium was "proud to have been chosen," describing the contract as a "new major award for Alstom in the UAE."
"We will bring the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies to Route 2020 project and continue to be reliable partners of RTA," he told reporters.
"We are the world leaders in integrated urban systems. We equally have strong experience here in Dubai... Our international experience and our local knowledge here and in the Gulf allowed us to make a good offer," he later told AFP.
The metro was projected to cost $4.4 billion when work began in 2004, but that had surged to $7.6 billion by the time it was completed.
The Dubai Metro has two lines, a 52-kilometer (32-mile) Red Line and a 23-kilometer (14-mile) Green Line.
The new project will extend the Red Line from Nakheel Harbor & Tower station to the Expo 2020 site. It will feature 11.8 kilometers (7.3 miles) of elevated railway and 3.2 kilometers (two miles) of underground.
The new line could possibly be extended to Dubai's second airport, Al-Maktoum International, just a few kilometers down the road, Tayer said.
The city state has a population of 2.5 million people, most of them expatriates, and received more than 14 million tourists last year.
Its target is to receive 20 million visitors a year by 2020. – Rappler.com