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First tender for Doha Metro issued in 1-2 months

First tenders on the $25 billion Doha Metro, which Qatar must build in time for the 2022 soccer World Cup, will be issued in one to two months, an executive from the company overseeing rail projects in the Arab Gulf state said Monday.

All contracts, split into 19 separate packages and worth at least $1 billion each, will be awarded in 2012, Ghanim Hassan Ali Al Ibrahim, group director for projects at Qatar Railways Co., told reporters at an event in Doha Monday.

“We need to award the final package by end of 2012 because we need to give eight years for design and construction,” Ibrahim said, adding that commissioning and testing on the metro would take place for a year once the project is built.

Qatar won the right to host the World Cup late last year and much depends on the wealthy gas-rich country completing around $100 billion of infrastructure projects in time for the tournament – of which the 85 kilometer Doha Metro is key.

It will consist of four lines, including the 30-kilometer Lusail Light Rail System that will provide transport around Qatar’s under-construction Lusail City, a 38 square kilometer real-estate project to the north of the capital, Doha.

In November 2009, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn AG inked a $25 billion deal to design and build underground and rail lines in Qatar and neighboring Bahrain.

Ibrahim said a public private partnership, or PPP, financing structure for the metro was being considered whereby a project is funded and operated through a joint venture between the state and the private sector.

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