FCC lands largest international contract awarded to a Spanish construction company

Spain’s infrastructure and environmental services group FCC announced today the company has been awarded one of the contracts to build the Riyadh metro (Saudi Arabia), which has an estimated budget of over 16.3 billion euro. This is the largest international contract in the history of construction in which a Spanish company has been awarded a contract. The consortium headed by FCC will build lines 4, 5 and 6 of the metro. The contract is worth 6.070 billion euro.

FCC’s main consortium partners are Korean company Samsung and French company Alstom. The other members are Strukton (The Netherlands), Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa (Spain) and Setec (France). The project is to be executed in 5 years, and will employ 15,000 people.

The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) has awarded the FCC-led consortium one of three contracts to build the Riyadh metro, the longest subway system under development in the world (176 kilometres). The contract includes the design and construction of lines 4 (orange), 5 (yellow) and 6 (purple), which will have 25 stations. Construction will include 64.6 kilometres of rail track: 29.8 kilometres of viaducts, 26.6 kilometres of underground track, and 8.2 kilometres of overground track.

Juan Béjar, Vice-President and CEO of FCC, said ‘Brand Spain’ is well and alive: “the Riyadh metro contract consolidates Spanish companies’ international reputation in global civil engineering projects. FCC’S references were instrumental in our successful bid for this project.”

The Riyadh metro is one of the largest public works projects in the world at present. The process commenced in July 2012, when 37 consortia comprising world leaders in construction, rolling stock and railway systems presented expressions of interest. Only four of these candidates were pre-qualified: those headed by Siemens with Vinci, Bombardier with OHL, and Ansaldo with Strabag.

The consortium headed by FCC will use three tunnel boring machines (TBM) to build tunnels almost 10 metres in diameter for the three lines. These lines will use two-car conductorless trainsets supplied by Alstom. There will be four types of stations: elevated, ground level, underground and intermodal to connect with different lines.

The six lines comprising the Riyadh metro project will span more than 176 kilometres, making it the largest metro under development in the world at present. Construction will require 600,000 tonnes of steel (80 times the amount used to build the Eiffel Tower) and 4.3 million cubic metres of concrete (11 times the amount used for Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper), and will employ over 30,000 workers, of which more than half correspond to the consortium led by FCC.

Riyadh currently has a population of 5.7 million, which is expected to increase to 8.3 million by 2030. The subway is mean to provide a solution to daily traffic problems: of 7.4 million daily commutes; only 2% use public transport.

“This contract strengthens FCC’s presence in Saudi Arabia, where it has operated for more than two years via FCC Aqualia to optimise Riyadh’s water supply network, which measures over 6,000 kilometres. This project has created 160 jobs and will improve the services provided to more than 3 million people,” FCC explained in a press release.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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