Bombardier aims for Etihad Rail project

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By Shweta Jain  gulfnews.com

Canadian firm in talks to supply trains for the proposed 1,200km railway network project

Dubai metroDubai Trains and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier is in active talks with Etihad Rail (erstwhile Union Railway) to supply trains for the proposed 1,200km railway network project, through its transport unit, Bombardier Transportation, according to a top Bombardier official.

The Montreal-based company will make a bid for the tender in the project, which is expected to be out soon, said Andre Navarri, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Transportation, on the sidelines of the 59th UITP (International Association of Public Transport) World Congress and Mobility and City Transport Exhibition in Dubai.

“We are always in contact with Abu Dhabi as there are projects there for the metro line. We are actively interested in the Etihad Rail project. We feel we have the right product with Movia [Movia is a family of metro trains built by Bombardier Transportation] for the project. So we would like to participate in the tender when it would be out for this line,” he told Gulf News, adding that Bombardier is aggressively gunning for transport projects in the UAE and throughout the Middle East.

The $11-billion (Dh40.37 billion) Etihad Rail project is designed to link the entire UAE and provide a link to the rest of the GCC, with the first phase of the network to be ready in June, attracting investment worth Dh40 billion.

Similarly, in Dubai, Bombardier, which manufactures metro and high-speed trains, is keen to bid for the next line of the Dubai Metro, Navarri pointed out. “There would be another line that will come later in Dubai and whenever that happens, we would be interested in it,” he said without elaborating.

Expansion

Plans are also afoot to secure “several hundreds of millions” in public transport orders in the rest of the Middle East, especially Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Navarri said, adding that the only existing project for Bombardier in the region is in Saudi Arabia at the moment.

“We have secured the order and are presently building the monorail in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, due for completion in 2012. That is our only Middle East project as of now,” said Navarri.

When quizzed about the projected revenue for Bombardier from this region, Navarri said: “Last year our revenues from this region were modest as we sold the monorail in Saudi Arabia.

“The Middle East is not the biggest market for Bombardier Transport yet, but it is big enough.”