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FCC wins 6-billion-euro contract for Riyadh subway

Foreign deal is second biggest ever awarded to a Spanish builder

The Holy Sites metro light railway in the city of Mecca. Ampliar foto
The Holy Sites metro light railway in the city of Mecca. AFP

Spanish construction group FCC said Monday that a consortium of which it forms part has been awarded one of the contracts to build the Riyadh subway system in Saudi Arabia in a deal worth 6.070 billion euros.

FCC said the contract, which entails building lines 4, 5 and 6 of the new metro system, is the second  largest ever international deal in the history of the Spanish construction industry. The three lines concerned will have 25 stations.

FCC’s share price closed up 5.74 percent at 10.87 after hitting a high of 10.945.

The Spanish firm’s main consortium partners are Korean company Samsung and French company Alstom. The other members are Strukton of the Netherlands, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa of Spain and Setec of France. The project is to be executed in five years, and will employ 15,000 people.

The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) awarded a total of three contracts worth a combined 16.3 billion euros, 2.5 times the cost of the Medina-Mecca railway. The other contracts were awarded to the Bechtel Group and Ansaldo of Italy.

FCC’s contract includes the construction of 64.6 kilometers of rail track: 29.8 kilometers of viaducts, 26.6 kilometers of underground track, and 8.2 kilometers of overground track.

The consortium headed by FCC will use three drilling machines to bore tunnels almost 10 meters in diameter for the three lines. These lines will use two-car, driver-less train-sets supplied by Alstom. There will be four types of stations: elevated, ground level, underground and intermodal to connect with different lines.

“The Riyadh subway dovetails with FCC’s new international strategy in construction, which is focused on infrastructure and on countries where we can best leverage our capabilities,” FCC’s chief executive officer and vice president Juan Béjar said. “This award accredits Spanish companies’ international reputation in infrastructure.”

The Riyadh subway is one of the largest public works projects in the world at present. The process began in July 2012, when 37 consortia presented expressions of interest.