GOIC and China firm sign MoU for Gulf rail network

 12 May 2016 - 0:00

GOIC and China firm sign MoU for Gulf rail network



Ali Hamed Al Mulla, Assistant Secretary-General for Industrial Projects Sector, GOIC, receiving a model of the high-speed train from Zhou Zhiliang, Chairman, CRSC, during the signing ceremony yesterday. Pic: Baher A / The Peninsula


By Sachin Kumar

DOHA: Chinese state-owned company China Railway Signal and Communication (CRSC) and the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a high-speed rail network covering six GCC countries. Once completed, the high-speed trains will run at a speed of 350km per hour. The trains will allow passengers to reach Bahrain in around 40 minutes and Kuwait in two hours in a non-stop journey from Qatar.
“The main content of the MoU is to boost development and construction of rail transit lines in the Gulf region,” said Zhou Zhiliang, Chairman, CRSC on the sidelines of MoU signing ceremony held at the Sheraton Doha Resort and Convention Hotel. “We will provide advance technology and also equipment for the networks in GCC and depending on the situation, may be in the future we will provide some financing,” he added.
CRSE is a Chinese government owned company with 70 percent share in high-speed railways worldwide and has around 5,000 people in research and development.
He added that completion of this ambitious project will depend on how fast the GCC countries want to finish it. “Because the cooperation is between us and the six countries in the GCC and they have their own plans in terms of how fast they want to do with railway project, we would fully cooperate with that,” he added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar yesterday jointly organised exhibition highlighting achievement of China’s high-speed railway, satellite system and nuclear power technology.
“The train can go up to 350 kilometre per hour. So from here to Kuwait nonstop is going to take around two hours and for Bahrain may be 40 minutes over the sea. It will be easier than airports because in airports you have to check in and undergo other procedures. The rail network will not be just for passengers, it will also be for transporting goods,” said Ashraf A R Abu Issa, Chairman, Abu Issa Holding.
He added that the multi-million dollar project may take six to eight years to complete. “It depends when the Gulf countries give go ahead (to the project). I would say between six to eight years if you want to link all GCC countries together with rail network,” said Issa
He said the rail project will entail multi-million dollar investment. “It is hard to give a certain number (about investment) but it is in millions of dollar,” he said.
Abu Issa Holding is consulting agency of CRSC in the Middle-East. “We are trying to start from Qatar, to be able to go to other countries, we need coordination between us and other countries. I think to a certain extents the ministers of transportation have done their home work in terms of what system they are going to use and how it is going to be connected and other things, but they are serious about it,” he added.

The Peninsula