Bahrain (Urban Transport News): The Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed has announced that the Government of Bahrain has approved the commencement of construction work of Phase 1 of Bahrain Metro Rail Project.
The phase 1 of project is now in the tender stage and represents the first phase of the government’s plans of developing a 109 km rail based urban mass transit network and consists of an elevated corridor with two corridors having an estimated length of 28.6 km with 20 stations and two interchanges.
The Bahrain Metro Rail Project will be started through a two-stage global tendering process comprising Request for Qualification (RFQ) followed by the Request for Proposal. The RFQ process is expected to commence in November 2021. The Project will be tendered as an integrated PPP with the selected private partner implement the project on Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain, Transfer (DBFOMT) basis with a contract period of 35 years. The demand risk will be borne by the government while the private partner will receive availability-based payments along with performance-based deductions and incentives.
The project will be implemented under the supervison of the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT). The Ministry aspires to develop the Bahrain Metro project with latest technology following international standards based on traditional steel rail solutions (a fully automated, driverless GoA4 system operation).
According to plan, the Bahrain government will provide a pre-determined amount as construction grant to the project company to fund a small portion of the capex. The sites required for the metro corridor and the associated depot facilities have been acquired by the government at its own cost and will be handed over to the private partner at the start of the project.
The government is actively considering additional measures and support it could extend to further enhance the overall viability of this strategic project. Bids will be open to interested participants as part of consortium partners and downstream contractors able to undertake the comprehensive scope involving design and construction of civil structures like viaduct, stations, etc., procurement, operation and maintenance of the transit system over the contract period as well as financing the cost of the project.
Reiterating the significance of the project, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said:
This project marks an important milestone as it will provide a fast, comfortable, reliable, sustainable and modern transportation system in the Kingdom of Bahrain, thereby improving the standards of living.
The ministry has appointed a team of financial, technical, and legal advisors led by KPMG as the Lead Transaction Advisor, Egis as the Technical Advisor and DLA Piper as the Legal Advisor for procurement of this project on a PPP basis.
Ridership in the initial few years of metro operation is expected to be around 200,000 per day, with growth expected as more travelers shift from using their private cars to the metro system.