Jacobs picked to restart UAE’s rail plans

Jacobs Engineering Group has been selected by Etihad Rail for technical and programme consulting services for the delayed 900km freight-and-passenger rail network in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The UAE shelved its $25bn rail plan in 2016 as the government cut spending amid falling oil prices.

This happened after the first phase linking the Shah gas field with the port and refinery of Ruwais  was completed (pictured), which carries mostly granulated sulphur.

Jacobs’ appointment suggests the broader scheme has been restarted.

The company will deliver engineering and design services, oversee detailed designs prepared by design and build contractors, and provide construction supervision for the entire project, Jacobs said.

The project will be built in phases to link the principal centres of population and industry, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and cut road congestion.

It is planned to connect with the long-delayed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) railway, which also ground to a halt in 2016.

"We were able to bring together the combined technical resources and synergies of Jacobs and our recently acquired CH2M team that presents a fully-integrated service offering for this world-class rail project," said Bob Pragada, Jacobs’ president for buildings, infrastructure and advanced facilities.

Image: The first phase of the UAE’s rail network links the Shah gas field with the port and refinery of Ruwais (Etihad Rail)

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