KUWAIT: Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects says that it has appointed new advisers for the planned Kuwait City metro and expects to start procurement in the first quarter of 2016.

Plans for a metro were first announced in 2006. Expressions of interest were invited in 2012, but the project was subsequently put on hold.

The 160 km network with 68 stations is to be built in five phases. The first would be the Red Line, running from the GCC rail freight terminal to Kuwait City centre via Kuwait International Airport.

The total network, of which 60% would be underground, is expected to cost US$7bn to build. Work is to be split into four infrastructure packages and a systems and rolling stock contract, all of which would be PPPs.

Procurement for the national heavy rail network is also due to begin in the first quarter of 2016. The US$10bn, 574 km network would consist of a north-south line and an east-west line. The first phase is to be the north-south route from An Nuwaisib on the Saudi border to the freight depot, with a branch to the passenger station at Kuwait City, where interchange will be provided with the metro Red Line. The north-south line would subsequently be extended to the Iraqi border.