Hochtief inks JV with Bahrain Airport Company
German construction group Hochtief AG has signed an agreement with Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) to set up a joint venture, which will provide facility management at Bahrain International Airport. The new entity, Hochtief Facility Management Bahrain Airport, will be set up at a cost of Euros 85 million (US$115 million). Hochtief AG said the contract marks a further internationalization of its service business. The agreement will run for six years, with an option to be extended for another five, the company said in a statement. Hochtief Facility Management Bahrain Airport will initially employ around 170 people involved in the operation of all technical systems and the airport infrastructure. At present Bahrain International Airport has a gross floor space of just under 70,000 sq meters which houses various buildings such as the terminal, aircraft hangars, cargo halls, administrative buildings and a fire station. The Kingdom is set to spend US$4.73 billion for upgrading the airport facilities. The airport currently handles around eight million passengers per year, but with a new terminal due for completion by 2015, the passenger number will rocket to 15 million, the company said. The new entity will provide technical and infrastructural services for all of these properties and the airport grounds in the coming years.
Siemens joins China bid for Saudi rail link
Siemens has dropped a bid to supply trains and equipment for the US$7 billion Mecca-to-Medina high-speed railway line project in Saudi Arabia, opting to join a Chinese consortium bidding for the work. In a sign of the growing global competitiveness of Chinese rail manufacturers, Siemens abandoned its own bid as part of a consortium with the Saudi Binladin Group. Instead, it has joined a bid led by state-owned China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation for the second phase of the Haramain high-speed rail project, according to people familiar with the situation. Siemens will provide signaling and electrification equipment to the Chinese consortium, which also includes China Railway Construction Corp and the Beijing Railway Administration. The 450-kilometer railway will link Islam’s two holiest sites via the port of Jeddah and will ease congestion during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, when more than 2.5 million people make the journey to Mecca. The Chinese bid is seen as the frontrunner – China Railway Construction Corp, which is also state-owned, was part of a consortium that won a $1.8bn contract to build the first phase of the project last year. “Siemens realized when China threw its hat in the ring, that they were unlikely to win so they decided to join them rather than let one of their competitors team up with the Chinese bidder,” said one person involved in the project.
BAC to turn Bahrain into global aviation hub
The Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), which officially took over the management and operation of the Bahrain International Airport from March 1, is planning to turn the kingdom into a global aviation hub. BAC said it seeks to unify the goals of the Bahrain airport entities for the benefit of travelers, stakeholders and staff, in a future-ready facility, which in turn, contributes towards the shared vision of the kingdom. This includes the management of the airport operations department, engineering and planning department, information and communication technology department, commercial and investments department, human capital and support services department, finance department and the branding and communications department. The process of formal transfer of operational management from Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) was initiated last July by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company. Transition action plans have been implemented, and are so far a success. As part of this transition, more than 400 staff members from the CAA, which include the departments of airport operations and engineering and maintenance have received the invitation to renew their employment under the management of the BAC, and the acceptance of offers was high.