Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's national rail network, yesterday confirmed that it has suspended the tendering process for Stage Two of the project. All bidders have yesterday been informed in writing.
Stage Two involves the construction of the rail network in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi by connecting to the Saudi border at Ghweifat and the Omani border at Al Ain, and by connecting vital areas such as Mussaffah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.
Etihad Rail commenced commercial operations on Stage One of the rail network, which links Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais, after official safety authorisations were granted by the Federal Transport Authority in December 2015.
To date, Etihad Rail has transported four million tonnes of Sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC. Once Stage One reaches full commercial capacity, Etihad Rail will transport more than seven million tonnes of Sulphur every year.
The company has suspended the current Stage Two tender process while it reviews the most appropriate options for the timing and delivery of this phase of the project. This decision will have no impact on Stage One operations.
Nasser Alsowaidi, Chairman of Etihad Rail, said, "Etihad Rail is one of the biggest and most complex infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UAE. As we enter 2016, we have been working closely with our partners and stakeholders to assess our strategic priorities for the year. As a result, a decision has been taken to suspend the tendering process for Stage Two whilst we review the most appropriate timing for this investment."