WS Atkins has won a £75 million design contract on the landmark £14bn Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia, said to be the world’s biggest public transport project.
The contract makes Atkins lead designer on three of the metro’s six lines, leading a joint venture with Spanish consultant Typsa for the FAST consortium which is led by Spanish construction group Fomento de Constructionnes y Contratas (FCC) and includes Samsung, Alstom, Strukton, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, and engineering companies Typsa and Setec.
The Riyadh Metro will be the longest under construction in the world at 176 kilometres, with 87 air conditioned stations, and will create 15,000 jobs over a five year programme that starts in the first quarter of 2014. Atkins’ contract is for lines four, five and six which at a total of 64.6 kilometres will account for just over a third of the metro’s length.
Construction contracts were awarded by client the Arriyadh Development Authority in summer. FAST has been awarded a £5Bn design and build contract that includes 25 stations, two depots and seven park and ride car parks.
Atkins says it will use about 200 staff on the project, working from its offices in Riyadh, the UK, the Emirates, Hong Kong and Bangalore. The company said its track record on delivering other major metro projects in the region as well as on projects like Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games was a key factor in winning the contract.
The project is intended to relieve increasing road congestion in an already busy city whose population is forecast to grow from 5.7 million last year to 8 million by 2030.
Construction of the 63.3 kilometres of lines 1 and 2 has been let to the BACS consortium which is led by Bechtel and includes Almabani General Contractors, Consolidated Contractors Company and Siemens. Much of the north-south line 1 will be underground while the east-west line 2 will be mostly elevated.
Line 3 has been awarded to the ArRiyadh New Mobility consortium; this will be the longest line at 40.7 kilometres with 22 stations.