The consortium led by Isolux Corsan, the preferred bidder for the €2.3 billion (Dh9.3bn) contract to build phase one of the new Mecca Metro, said that it will require up to 3,500 staff for the project.
The Madrid-based company currently employs only 25 staff in the kingdom, but said that it would need to expand because of the large scale of the project and the reasonably tight deadline. It is expected to finish the metro, with its consortium partners Kolin construction and Haif Company, by 2019.
A spokesman for Isolux added that the scope of the works meant that it would be split between various locations. The project would be supported by staff from its Madrid headquarters in its finance, engineering, purchasing and legal departments. It would also be supported by staff at its Middle East headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
“The number of people involved in the different phases of this project that are not settled in Saudi Arabia can be up to 250 people,” the spokesman said.
Isolux Corsan has a depth of experience in the public transport arena.
The company, whose revenues last year declined by 17 per cent to €2.1bn, has built several sections of Spain’s high-speed rail network and Line 5 of Barcelona’s metro. It also built the tram system in the Algerian city of Oran.
The company, which last year won its first contract in Oman – a €113 million motorways deal – said the Arabian Gulf region is one of its key target markets.
It has submitted bids to build the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum and a 500 megawatt power plant at Subiya in Kuwait. It has also bid for roads and infrastructure projects in Qatar and Oman.
“Our focus is on all kind of infrastructure projects within the region – renewable, power generation [and] transport projects. Isolux Corsan group has a long-standing strategy for the Gulf region, where we have been working since 2002 and our activity has done nothing but grow,” the spokesman said.
Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the developer of Saadiyat Island that is responsible for overseeing the construction of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, floated its most recent tender for the construction of the museum in August 2013. However, a contract has yet to be awarded.
A spokesman for TDIC said: “Preparatory structural works have been completed for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Once the main construction tenders have been awarded, further details on project timeline will be communicated.”
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