Yisrael Katz (front), Israel's Minister of Transport, and employees of China Railway Engineering Corporation, take part in an event marking the beginning of underground construction work of the light rail, using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), in Tel Aviv in 2017.
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
Four Chinese state-owned infrastructure giants are among six international consortia seeking to win a tender for the construction and operation of the Tel Aviv Light Rail Green Line and Purple Line.
NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System, the company tasked with designing and constructing the light rail, said all six consortia who entered the pre-qualification process for the public-private partnership tender complied with its demands and will receive the full tender documents.
The tender, described by NTA as the largest in Israel’s history and worth approximately NIS 15 billion ($4.14bn.), includes the design, finance, construction and maintenance of the two light rail train lines. One consortium will be chosen for each line.
The six consortia competing are Spanish company CAF with Shapir Engineering; Chinese company CRRC with Shikun & Binui and Egged; French company Alstom with Electra, British developer John Laing and Dan; German company Siemens with Minrav, Allied and Paz; Chinese company CREC with Canadian firm Bombardier, Excellence, Noy Fund and Phoenix; and an all-Chinese consortium of CCCC and CHEC.
CRRC, also bidding to operate the Jerusalem light rail, is already manufacturing trains for Tel Aviv’s Red Line, with the first carriages having started to roll off its Changchun production line last month.
Beijing-headquartered CREC is currently operating in Tel Aviv, with the Israel branch of its China Railway Tunnel Group (CRTG) subsidiary responsible for constructing the western segment of the Tel Aviv Light Rail Red Line in a joint venture with Shikun & Binui.
CHEC’s Tel Aviv-based affiliate PMEC, active in Israel since 2014, is currently constructing Ashdod’s new HaDarom Port, and recently competed for the public-private partnership tender for Jerusalem’s planned Route 16 highway.
“NTA is continuing to build a mass transit network in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area,” said outgoing NTA chief executive Yehuda Bar-On, who announced on Monday that he will be leaving the company after five years at the helm.
“The light rail lines will serve more than half a million residents every day. At the same time, we are advancing the planning process for three Tel Aviv Metro lines.”
The 39 km. Green Line, of which approximately 4.5 km. will be underground, will connect the cities of Holon and Rishon Lezion with central Tel Aviv, and continue to Tel Aviv University, the industrial and commercial zones of Western Herzliya and Atidim Business Park.