FCC wins the biggest international contract in the history of Spanish construction
FCC has set a new record in the history of international construction. The Public Services Group is among the contractors selected for one of the lots to build the Riyadh metro (Saudi Arabia), with an estimated total budget of more than €16.3 million. This is the largest international construction contract involving a Spanish contractor. Specifically, the Public Services Group is leading a consortium to build lines 4, 5 and 6 for the Saudi capital’s metro system, with a value of €6.070 billion.
Other leading members of the FCC-led consortium include Samsung (South Korea) and Alstom (France), as well as Strukton (Netherlands), Freyssinet (Saudi Arabia), Typsa (Spain) and Setec (France). The completion time for the works is five years and the project will provide employment for more than 15,000 people.
The Riyadh Development Authority has awarded to the consortium led by FCC one of the three packages bid for to build the city’s new metro system, the largest such project in the world, with a total length of 176 km. This third lot includes the design and build of lines 4 (orange), 5 (yellow) and 6 (purple), including a total of 25 stations, 64.6 km of underground lines, 29.8 km of viaducts, 26.6 km of underground roads and 8.2 km of overground roads.
According to Juan Béjar, Vice-Chairman and Director of FCC, this award reflects “the international reputation of Spanish construction firms and specifically FCC, whose references have been determining factors in the bid’s success.” He adds: "The Riyadh metro is a project that falls within FCC’s new international strategy for our construction business, focusing on infrastructure and countries where our firm’s capacity is most recognised.”
This Saudi project is among the largest civil works contracts currently in progress. The process began in July 2012, when 37 consortia made up of the leading names in the world construction sector, as well as suppliers of railway material and systems, opted to bid for the contracts. Of all the consortia who submitted candidacies, only four achieved prequalification: Siemens and Vinci, Bombardier and OHL, Ansaldo and Strabag, and FCC.
The FCC-led consortium will use three TBMs to build the three lines, each nearly 10 m in diameter. The trains, supplied by Alstom, that will operate on these lines will have two carriages and operate in driverless mode. The stations will be of four types: elevated, ground level, underground and interchanges to link the different lines.
The largest underground project in the world
The six lines that make up the whole Riyadh metro project will total more than 176 km in length, making it the largest underground project in the world right now. The construction will require 600,000 tonnes of steel (equivalent to 80 times the amount used to build the Eiffel Tower), 4.3 million cubic metres of concrete (11 times more than was needed to build the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper), and more than 30,000 workers, more than half of whom will be working on the lot being undertaken by the FCC-led consortium.
The new public-transport service is an opportunity to completely transform the city of Riyadh. The new infrastructure will enable traffic congestion to be reduced, strengthening and driving the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and improving the quality of life for the Saudi people.
The city of Riyadh currently has a population of 5.7 million, forecast to rise to 8.3 million by 2030. The metro system is the solution for the daily traffic problems, with 7.4 million journeys, only 2% of which make use of public transport.
FCC in the Middle East
With this contract, the Public Services Group further strengthens its presence in Saudi Arabia, where it is already been working for more than two years, through FCC Aqualia, to optimise Riyadh’s water supply with a total length of more than 6,000 km, providing employment for nearly 160 people. This contract is the first in the Middle East covering water management to be awarded to a Spanish firm.
In the same market, a few months later, FCC Aqualia won a new O&M contract for the sanitation and treatment system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
FCC also has offices in Qatar and Kuwait. In Qatar the firm is currently building two pedestrian walkways and phase two of the Barzan urban-development works in en Al Wajba, 15 km from the Qatari capital. In Dubai the company has built a cricket ground.
Extensive international experience building metro lines
The construction of Riyadh metro lines 4, 5 and 6 is now added to the FCC Group’s vast experience in metro systems all over the world. Abroad, the group has been involved in the construction of the Lisbon metro (Alameda-Expo section), the Athens metro line 2 extension, including Peristeri and Anthoupoli stations, and the New Delhi metro in India.
Line 1 of the Panama metro is currently under construction, with a budget of more than €1 billion, the Toronto-York Spadina (Tysse) metro in Canada, with a total budget of €304 million, and the construction of section 1 of Bucharest metro line 5 (Romania), worth €267 million, as well as the Málaga metro and line 9 of the Barcelona metro in Spain.
Also in Spain the company has built several sections and stations for the Madrid and Barcelona metro systems.