Riyadh ‘Miracle’ metro project unveiled

30 July 2013

Riyadh Governor Prince Khaled bin Bandar on 28 July 2013 unveiled the USD 20.9bn Riyadh Metro Project that calls for construction of a 177.7km six-line automated metro network in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The project design and construction contracts were awarded to three foreign-led consortia, which signed the project package with Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) in the presence of Prince Khaled.

The Fast consortium, which is led by Spanish construction group FCC, will build three lines totalling 73km in a deal worth USD 7.82bn. The contract includes: (1) The 30km Orange Line to King Khaled International Airport; (2) The 13km Yellow Line, which will follow King Abdul Aziz Road; and (3) The 30 km Purple Line from from Abdul Rahman bin Ouf Street to Shaikh bin Hussain bin Ali Street. FCC's partners in Fast include Alstom; Samsung C&T; Strukton, Netherlands; Freyssinet, Saudi Arabia; Typsa, Spain; and Setec, France.

The Arriyadh New Mobility Group (ANM) will construct the 40.7km Red Line from Madina Al Munawara to Amir Saad bin Abdul Rahman Al Awad Road in a contract worth USD 5.21bn. ANM is led by Ansaldo STS and includes civil works contractors Salini-Impreglio and Nemsa, together with Bombardier.

Finally, the Bechtel-led BACS consortium will build the 39km Blue Line from Olaya Street to Batha Street and Al Hayer Road, and the 25km Green Line along King Abdullah Road. The consortium includes Aecom and Siemens, and the contract has a total value of USD 7.82bn.

Designs for the Riyadh Metro call for 35.2km of twin-tube bored running tunnels and a further 13.7km of cut and cover work for a total subsurface length of nearly 49km.

The Riyadh Metro, nicknamed the 'Miracle of the Desert', passes through areas near government buildings, commercial and health centers, educational centers and major universities in Riyadh and its suburbs. The metro will also connect the King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) through the city center and densely populated areas of Riyadh. The metro system will have 96 stations in total, including the main stations, four transfer stations, and five park-and-ride stations.

According to FCC, the construction of the network will require 600,000t of steel, 4.3Mcu.m of concrete, and will employ more than 30,000 people, more than half of them in the Fast consortium.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014 and commercial services will start on the initial operating sections in 2018 with the entire network due to be commissioned by 2019.