DOHA: Opportunities in the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) region’s $225bn rail, metro, tram and bus rapid transit (BRT) capital investment programme to 2030 will be highlighted at the Meed Mena Rail & Metro Summit which opens in Abu Dhabi on October 29.
Meed estimates Qatar ranks second in the region in terms of Mena rail project value with more than $30bn, after Saudi Arabia’s $50bn worth projects.
Figures provided by Meed Projects show that there are now 108 separate railway, metro, monorail, tram and BRT projects under bid, under design or under study in 14 Mena countries. More than 50 of them with a combined value of almost $140bn are in the GCC.
“Saudi Arabia has the greatest potential with projects worth $50bn due to be completed by 2025. Rail, metro, tram and BRT projects in Qatar worth more than $30bn are scheduled to be finished by 2020, ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Finals. The third biggest rail market is the UAE, where $27bn worth of projects is due for completion by 2030.”
Philippe Casgrain, vice president for Europe, the Middle East & Africa at Bombardier Transport will open the summit with a presentation outlining the key challenges those involved delivering hundreds of billions of dollars of railway projects face in the Middle East region.
One of the biggest issues is pressure on the Middle East project supply chain and competing demands for steel, cement and skilled labour from other sectors of the region’s booming projects market. About $2.2 trillion of projects are under bid, design or study, about half of this figure in the GCC. Meed Projects figures show that Saudi Arabia alone has a pipeline of more than $350bn of projects with a value greater than $1,000m.
The project pipeline in rail, metro, tram and BRT projects is formidable. According to Meed Projects figures, almost $40bn of projects are under bid in the sector at present. But about $90bn are under design and more than 75 percent of projects under bid, design and study are due to be finished by 2020.
Joining the opening keynote session at the Meed Mena Rail & Metro Summit will be representatives of major urban rail, tram and BRT programmes. They include Dr Mohammed Montazeri, deputy managing director for planning and logistics at the Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Company. Iran has more than $15bn of major projects in the pipeline and two-thirds of this planned investment will be in the urban rail network of the Iranian capital by 2025.
Meed Projects figures show that more than $90bn of metro and light rail projects are planned in the Mena region by 2030. Planned passenger and freight rail investments of a similar value are projected in the same period. High speed railway projects of about $15bn are under study. Monorail and tram projects worth more than $10bn apiece are planned. There is a single large-scale investment in BRT, a $1,500m project in Abu Dhabi. Prequalification of companies wishing to work on the project is now under way. But other cities are now seriously considering BRT as an alternative and supplement to new urban rail and tram ways.