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SAR is searching for private companies to develop the rail sector and add additional value not only to the transport sector

SAR is searching for private companies to develop the rail sector and add additional value not only to the transport sector
photo: arabianbusiness.com (https://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/transport/saudi-minister-of-transport-launches-forum-with-economic-and-industrial-opportunities-exceeding-266-5mn)/SAR is searching for private companies to develop the rail sector and add additional value not only to the transport sector
31 / 03 / 2022

Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser, The Transport Minister of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Railways Company (SAR), has introduced economic and industrial opportunities worth SAR 1 billion (USD 266.6 million). He announced the statement during the inauguration of the virtual Railway Industrial Opportunities Forum on March 17, 2022. This step intends to attract the private sector to the rail sector development. The Forum was held under the patronage of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NDLP) and the help of interested domestic and international industrialists and a selection of experts in the railway sector.

Al-Jasser believes that the first package of industrial and economic opportunities will add value not only to the transport sector but also to other sectors that support and complement the railway industry.
The investment in the first package is worth more than 1 billion riyals. The forum’s goals are to build more partnerships between private and public sectors and develop the railway infrastructure to open
the market to new operators. Another aim is to increase the private sector’s participation in freight operations, train passenger trips and assets.

The purpose of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy is to help to develop and support strategies encouraging tourism and pilgrimages to Mecca. Goals will be achieved via key projects and programs including the building of a safe and effective railway structure to increase the railway connection between the regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Another essential part of the program is to provide high-quality reliable services for transport and freight using railway transport. These steps should reduce the level of consumption of energy resources and increase safety levels in the transport sector.

Part of the program of railway development is to expand the network by more than 8,000 km. This step helps achieve local and regional connection and double the transport capacity by trains for passengers and freight with the employment of modern technologies and technical solutions. Other positive effects are the reduction of the environmental impact of train transportation, increasing the competitiveness
of Saudi products and promoting the efficiency of supply chains.

Saudi Arabia’s rail network is long for 5,000 km and formed by Train – North Train – HHR and has ensured the transport of more than 33 million passengers and 70 million tonnes of minerals and goods in the past ten years. The usage of the rail network helped with a reduction of road transport by removing more than 6 million truck trips. It led to a decrease in road accidents and death cases by more than 50% within the past five years.

The priorities of SAR since its establishment are to increase the local content and help with
the development of national industry potential. To achieve its priorities and goals, SAR tries
to encourage international manufacturers to build partnerships and knowledge transfer for the local plants. These steps advanced the local content of SAR by more than 41% of the SAR’s total revenues, with a value of more than SAR 1.5 billion (USD 399.4 million). These policies encouraged a further growth of factories exploring the railways or supplementary industries and provided them with unique opportunities for business development.

Not long ago, SAR has launched EOI for the design, production, and delivery of new intercity trains. SAR expects these trains to work in public transportation on Riyadh – Dammam railway line in 2025. For increased transport capacity and quality, the order of new trains is supposed for the Riyadh – Hail line on the North-South axis.

 

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