The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects has reportedly scheduled the tender for public bidding for a major railway project for the second half of 2017.
The rail network will link Kuwait City to the airport, marine ports and the Saudi border over 511km of two-way tracks.
It is expected to be implemented under a build, operate, transfer agreement and will transport both passengers and cargo at speeds of 120-200kmh.
Under the original schedule on the Partnerships Technical Bureau website, the issuance of expressions of interest was planned for Q2 of 2016, followed by requests for quotation in Q3 and a requests for proposal in Q4.
Following this the preferred bidder was to be announced in Q3 of 2017 with the financial close of the project in Q4.
Kuwait Times said the tender is being issued to show Kuwait’s commitment to a wider project designed to link all of the Gulf states via a rail network.
At a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council transport ministers earlier this year is was acknowledged that the original 2018 date for the regional line would not be met.
This followed delays to different national projects including the second phase of the UAE’s Etihad Rail network that would have linked with the Saudi and Omani borders.
The Gulf states have agreed in principle to a new 2021 deadline for the 2,100km line but this may depend on the willingness of each state to invest as low oil prices hit government coffers.