Saudi Arabia has shortlisted four consortia to offer financial and technical bids for the construction of the Riyadh monorail project.
The four groups incorporate 33 companies from 15 different countries, including major monorail manufacturers worldwide.
The High Commission for Riyadh Development (HCRD), which floated the bid for the project, has shortlisted the consortia from the 38 bids it received; the four shortlisted teams must now submit their financial and technical bids within four months.
The winning group will be responsible for the construction of an underground network, the provision of electric trains and the construction of bridges and subway tunnels, along with all the engineering and design work for the project.
The 175km electrical rail line will link Riyadh's airport with other parts of the city, including the new King Abdullah Financial Centre.
France's Vinci leads the first group, which includes Siemens (SIE), Saudi Arabia's Almabani General Contractors, Consolidated Contractors Company (Saudi Arabia) and Aecom.
The second group is made up of 11 companies led by Canada's Bombardier, along with Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Holding, South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction and UK's Serco, among others.
The third group comprise seven companies including France's Alstom Transport and South Korea's Samsung C&T, and is headed by Spain's FCC Construction.
The fourth consortium is led by Austria's Strabag and includes Ansaldo, Stadler Rail, Larsen & Toubro, Hyder Consulting, Worley Parsons, Besix, Ali Al Swailem Group and IDOM.
Each consortium contains companies with multiple disciplines that comprise of rail manufacturing, metro tunnel building, civil works, bridges, control and operation systems, electrical and mechanical works, design and management of mega projects.
In May 2010, Bombardier won a $241m contract from Saudi Oger to supply its next-generation Innovia Monorail 300 system in Riyadh.