Abu Dhabi: Bechtel, a global engineering, project management and construction company, is eyeing a bigger role for itself in the Middle East and on the African continent and is submitting a bid for EPC contract at the Riyadh Metro project, a senior company executive said on Monday.

“We have also bid for the project management contract at Etihad Rail in the UAE and will probably show an interest to bid for the Abu Dhabi Metro project for which an industry consultation project is currently on,” Amjad Bangash, managing director of Bechtel’s global rail business told reporters at a news briefing in the capital.

The Riyadh Metro project, which is estimated to cost about $8 billion will incorporate six main routes covering a total length of about 175 kilometres.

It will form the backbone of the public transport system in Riyadh, covering densely populated areas in the city centre, government facilities, commercial centres and link to King Khalid International Airport, King Abdullah financial districts and major universities.

It will relieve pressure on the roads and also ease traffic congestion, especially during peak hours.

Bangash said Bechtel will establish a global centre of engineering excellence in the UAE initially focusing on rail and marine engineering projects.

“Rail and port infrastructure go hand-in-hand and are the lifeline for transporting goods around the world from major petrochemical, power, and mining facilities,” said Bangash.

“The global demand for rail and port infrastructure will increase substantially during the course of the next 10-15 years. This centre provides customers around the world with a comprehensive solution for a successful project right from the start.”

The centre will draw upon Bechtel’s global experience and expertise in the design and construction of railways and ports, and will offer services from master planning studies through to engineering execution.

Bechtel has been involved with more than 80 port and marine projects around the world, including Khalifa Port and Kizad in Abu Dhabi.

Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialise in civil infrastructure; power generation, communications, and transmission; mining and metals; oil, natural gas, and chemicals; and government services.