Webuild & Sajco sign joint agreement to build high-speed railway in NEOM

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
  • Follow author on
HighSpeed Railway line between Line & Oxagon
Image Courtesy; NEOM

Webuild, an Italian industrial group specializing in construction and civil engineering, and its joint venture partner Saudi-based Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company (Sajco), have signed a contract worth $1.53 billion to design and build 57 km of a high-speed railway in NEOM, along the north Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

The contract covers the design and builds for the major part of the Connector, a railway connecting Oxagon, NEOM’s center for advanced and clean industries with The Line, a future-forward city. As a result of this agreement, Webuild anticipates more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs to be generated in the Saudi market, the company said.

NEOM, a region designed as a blueprint for sustainable urban living with enhanced livability, is among Saudi Arabia’s key giga-projects. The Line is a continuous, 170-km-long city with no traditional roads or cars that will be able to accommodate a population of up to nine million people on a footprint of just 34 sq km.

Once completed, NEOM will be powered by 100 percent clean energy, through renewable solar, wind and green hydrogen-based energy.

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 per hour.

Webuild’s expertise and experience in high-speed railways have seen it led to the construction of some of the most challenging industry projects, such as the Terzo Valico dei Giovi between Genoa and Milan. The group, which first worked in Saudi Arabia in 1966 when it began hydraulic works in Makkah, Jeddah and Riyadh, has long been active in the region. It has since built more than 70 health centers, as well as the Al Faisaliah District Redevelopment Project and the Kingdom Centre in Riyadh.

The group’s subsidiary Fisia Italimpianti built the Shuaibah III Expansion II IWP desalination plant, which water supply to more than one million residents in the remote parts of Makkah and Taif.

Related: Dubai-based Quazar & UK’s GIM to manufacture eco-friendly building materials