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The Board of Directors at Etihad Rail held a remote meeting on 3 April 2020, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail – in which the Board confirmed that it had awarded the contract for the construction of the central Operation and Maintenance (O&M) facility at Al Faya, Abu Dhabi.
The contract, valued at AED864 million, has been awarded to a joint venture led by VINCI Construction France, in line with Etihad Rail’s future strategy to provide a railway network that supports and strengthens the long-term growth of the national economy.
The facility will be the largest and most important facility on the network; it will be responsible for warehousing, installations, operations, and the maintenance of locomotives and wagons. The facility will also include an administrative building to control the operations of the whole network.
The Board of Directors extended its appreciation to federal and local government authorities for their outstanding efforts and cooperation in the land allocation process so far in 2020, and issuing all necessary licenses and permits to implement the project.
During the meeting, His Highness also carried out a virtual visit of the construction site in Saih Sheib region and launched the civil works on Package B of Stage Two of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) national railway network project. The project is developed and operated by Etihad Rail with the aim of placing the UAE among the best countries in the world in terms of transport quality.
Package B extends over 216km and includes the construction of a second concrete railway sleeper factory and rail routes to Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), Khalifa Port, and the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD).
Additionally, His Highness discussed a mechanism to ensure the operational continuity of the company’s fleet in Stage One, which daily transports granulated sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, according to approved plans as part of the company’s commitment to provide reliable, safe, and fast services.
The performance report on the execution of Etihad Rail’s strategic plans and the company’s operations to date was also reviewed, in addition to its future programmes and initiatives and the latest developments of Stage Two of the national rail network, which runs from Ghuweifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah and Khorfakkan on the east coast. The Board of Directors approved the audited financial results for 2019 and the 2020 strategic plan.
The importance of continuing to implement the strategic plans, future visions, and operational work of the UAE’s national railway network project was stressed, in line with the directions of the wise leadership to continue the implementation of strategic projects as per the approved plans, in order to sustain national achievements.
His Highness also highlighted the necessity to execute precautionary and preventive measures to ensure business continuity while supporting the efficient dealing with changes, thereby maintaining performance and productivity throughout the various sectors of the company.
Etihad Rail has now awarded all civil works and construction contracts for Stage Two of the national railway network. The company has also launched construction on Package A of Stage Two, signed a contract for the construction of a series of freight facilities centres, and awarded a contract for the supply of locomotives to expand the company’s fleet to 45, underlining the fact that Etihad Rail is progressing at a strong and steady pace towards completing one of the largest and most important infrastructural projects in the UAE.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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