UAE-based Advance Rail Group (ARG) has announced a new partnership with Spanish construction giant Dragados to pursue rail projects in Qatar. The companies have signed a JV agreement to bid for railway projects that are part of Qatar Railways’ extensive rail program, with a particular focus on the Doha Metro.
Dragados is the flagship construction arm of Spain’s ACS Group, one of the world’s largest construction and services conglomerates.
ARG General Manager Warwick Georgeson said the partnership would be mutually beneficial for both companies, and ultimately benefit Qatar.
“This strategic joint venture will ensure that Qatar has access to the very best international rail infrastructure and tunnelling expertise,” he said.
“ARG’s decision to partner with Dragados was based on their unparalleled track record in rail and tunnelling and their successful completion of several high profile rail projects across the globe. Additionally, through Dragados the joint venture will be able to utilise the vast resources and technical skills of their associated businesses, including Cobra and ACS Industrial.
“Our initial focus will be on tunnelling opportunities related to the Doha Metro, but we are considering expanding the relationship further across the region to capitalise on the many rail opportunities available,” he said.
“This type of partnership supports Qatar’s desire to have access to the best international partners. It allows international companies such as ARG and Dragados to share our skills and to assist in the continuing development of the country,” Mr Georgeson said.
ARG was formed in October 2010, when UAE-based Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) joined forces with leading Australian rail contractor John Holland, to pursue an expected US$75bn in rail projects within the GCC region.
HLG is a leading multi-disciplined international contractor in the Middle East and North Africa, and has had a significant presence in Qatar for the past six years. John Holland is Australia’s largest rail construction and maintenance contractor and operator of railway networks.
HLG CEO and Managing Director Laurie Voyer welcomed the partnership as a positive step for the Group’s rail operations in Qatar.
“The agreement with Dragados is unique and demonstrates Dragados’ seriousness in pursuing strategic projects in the region with our organisation,” he said.
“This joint venture with an internationally-renowned rail specialist such as Dragados to bid for some of these key railway opportunities will complement our already established business in Qatar.
“Qatar is one of the most important growth markets for our business and I believe the collective experience of ARG and Dragados is without peer,” he said.
“I welcome this announcement and look forward to building a strong and successful partnership with Dragados and its vast array of associated businesses for mutual benefit.”