UPDATE 2-Saudi Arabia awards $22.5 bln contracts to build Riyadh metro

Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:52pm EDT
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* Bechtel, Spain's FCC, Italy's Ansaldo STS lead consortia

* World's largest public transport system under development

* Electric, driverless trains over 176 km of track

* Aims to improve living standards to ease social tensions

* New rail system will create jobs, help to diversify economy

By Marwa Rashad

RIYADH, July 28 (Reuters) - The Saudi Arabian government awarded $22.5 billion in contracts to three foreign-led consortia on Sunday for the design and construction of the first metro rail system in the capital Riyadh.

The project, which will involve six rail lines extending 176 kilometres (110 miles) and carrying electric, driverless trains, is the world's largest public transport system currently under development, Saudi officials said.

U.S. construction giant Bechtel Corp heads a group which won a $9.45 billion contract to build two lines, the government announced. Its partners include Germany's Siemens Aktiengesellschaft and U.S.-based AECOM.   Continued...