Deutsche Bahn exclusive partner in a billion euro project in Qatar
DB CEO Grube: Overseas commitment also safeguards jobs inside Germany - Federal Transport Minister Ramsauer: German expertise and technology are in demand the world over
Berlin - Deutsche Bahn is to be the exclusive partner of Qatar Railways Company (RAIL) for the establishment of a rail-bound transport system in the Emirate of Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world. Dr. Rüdiger Grube, CEO and Chairman of the DB Management Board, signed the relevant agreement for the formation of the Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC) in Doha, the Qatari capital, today, in the presence of the Qatari head of government Sheikh Al Thani and Federal Transport Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer. DB International will have a stake of 49 per cent in the new company, the remaining 51 per cent will be held by Qatari Diar, a state-owned company. The new planning and management company will be responsible for setting up a railway organisation and will steer all planning and construction activities for the establishment of one of the most modern metro and railway systems in the world. The project envisages a metro system for the capital, as well as long-distance and freight lines. The investment volume will amount to roughly EUR 17 billion. The cooperation will also include the provision of vocational training in the rail sector for young Qataris.
“We are proud and delighted that DB International has been chosen by the Qatari government as the partner for this ambitious infrastructure project. This once again proves that Deutsche Bahn expertise enjoys a great reputation throughout the world. Moreover, especially in the present difficult economic climate, such overseas projects also help to safeguard jobs inside Germany,” stated CEO Dr. Grube. Federal Transport Minister Dr. Ramsauer welcomed the project as an important symbol: “The signing of this agreement shows that German expertise and German technology in the transport sector are in demand the world over.”
Participation in the planning company is also of strategic importance for DB, as investments running into hundreds of millions are planned for the establishment and upgrading of rail infrastructure in the Arabian peninsula over the next two decades. DB therefore believes that successful operations in Qatar would offer excellent prospects for securing further business in other Arab countries.
“DB International has already been working on a concept for developing rail transport in the emirate on the Persian Gulf together with our partner company, Qatari Diar, since the autumn of 2008,” said Martin Bay, Chairman of the DB International Management Board. The newly formed company will now implement that sophisticated concept. The metro system planned for the capital city of Doha will have four lines, 98 stations and an overall length of 300 km. The plans also include a 180-km long high-speed line to Bahrain, which is designed for a top speed of 350 km/h. A 100-km long line to Saudi Arabia will be suitable for trains running at speeds of up to 200 km/h. A total line network of 325 km is planned for freight traffic, most of which will also be used by passenger services.
QRDC is in charge of a budget volume of EUR 700 million. Pursuant to the agreement, DB International will supply two of the four managing directors, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the first four years. QRDC will be responsible for implementation of the entire projects within the scope of the resolved railway transport concept.
The Emirate of Qatar, which has a surface area roughly half the size of the Federal Land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, owns the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world. In 2008, the country had a gross domestic product of USD 85,900 per capita, the highest in the world. Upgrading the Qatari rail transport system is part of the government’s comprehensive modernisation and diversification campaign which is aimed at reducing its dependency on gas. The campaign involves public and private investments of EUR 130 billion in education, health, industry and infrastructure up to the year 2015. Qatar has a population of approx. 1.2 million.
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