Webuild consortium wins Neom HSR contract

Neom high-speed railThe joint venture of Webuild and Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company (SAJCO) signed a EUR 1.4 billion contract for the construction of 57 km of Neom high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia.

The contract covers the design and construction of the majority part of the Connector, a railway connecting Oxagon, Neom’s centre for advanced and clean industries with The Line, a future-forward city.

The JV agreement is split 70/30 between Webuild, through its local branch and its unit Salini Saudi Arabia, and SAJCO. The partnership includes civil works for the two high speed and two freight railway tracks, with Webuild leading the execution of work.

The contract also covers viaducts, road bridges, and road and rail underpasses to facilitate train speeds of up to 230 km/h.

As a result of this agreement, Webuild anticipates more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs are to be generated in the Saudi market.

Neom, a special economic zone, is part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to develop a sustainable urban living to be constructed in Tabuk province, in the north-western part of the country, north of the Red Sea. Part of this project will be constructed The Line, a 170 km long linear city that will define the way a sustainable and smart city should look like.

The 34 square kilometers vertical city with a capacity of up to 9 million people, will revolutionise the mobility where traditional cars are completely absent and people will have access to all facilities within a five-minute walk, in addition to the high-speed line.

Neom high-speed rail line is designed to provide a 20-minute end-to-end journey and will be built in the underground and will be managed by the latest control and safety technologies based on wireless communications. The high-speed connections will be used for passenger transport between the two terminals. The line will have a length of 170 km, the same length as the linear city, which will be only 200-metre-wide and developed 500 metres above sea level.

In October 2022, Egis, its subsidiary AuditSafe, and Certifer were selected as the Independent Safety Assessor for the transit system of the Neom Industrial City Connector (NICC) which will comprise of several individual lines covering high-speed rail lines, freight rail lines, metro/GMT rail lines, depot rail lines and platform loops. The transport system, located underground of The Line will be controlled and managed by 5G, fibre, satellite, and wireless solutions throughout the communities of urban development.

All services in the city will be automated and powered by artificial artificial intelligence. Neom will be powered by 100% clean energy – including the operations of its industries, through renewable solar, wind and green hydrogen-based energy.

Neom, which means ‘new future’, is developed from scratch designed on futuristic smart and sustainable concepts on a surface of 26,500 square kilometres. It is a USD 500 billion estimated global project which will be financed from the Public Investment and comprises 10 projects (known as ‘regions’) among which The Line, Oxagon, Trojena and Sindalah.

In January 2021, Mohammed bin Salman the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia launched the idea of The Line and in July 2022 has announced the designs of The Line city that redefines the concept of urban development and the way people will live, work, and use public services. The city is designed to reduce the infrastructure footprint and create revolutionary efficiencies in city functions.

The unveiled designs “for the city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for nature preservation and enhanced human livability. The Line will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live,” the Crown Prince said when presented the concept of the city.

The Neom project is delivered in several phases with Oxagon expected to have its first residents in 2024 and Trojen becoming a place to live, work and holiday in 2026. The first modules of The Line will also be activated in 2026 and by 2030, some one million people will be resident in Neom, rising to nine million in 2045.

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