Contractors picked for final section of Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line

Hofrey Hasharon won the NIS 640 million tender for Section D of the line.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Hofrey Hasharon Ltd. and its German partner have won the NIS 640 million Israel Railways tender for the final section (Section D) of the high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway line. The decision came just four months after the Israel Railways tenders committee published the tender documents.

The decision completes Israel Railways' selection of the contractors to build the final sections of the railway line between Shaar Hagai and Jerusalem. Work on four-kilometer Section D from Mevasseret Zion across Emek Erazim to the Binyanei Ha'Ooma station at the western entrance to Jerusalem is due to begin within weeks and take four years to complete.

Section D is a complex project from an engineering viewpoint. It includes two bridges, two single-track tunnels 800-900 meters in length, and a 2.9-kilometer tunnel.

Hofrey Hasharon's win was a surprise, as it beat a joint bid by Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL; Pink Sheets:AFIVY) contracting unit Danya Cebus Ltd. (TASE: DNYA) and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC); Shikun u'Binui Holdings Ltd. (Housing and Construction) (TASE: HUCN) subsidiary Shikun u'Binui Solel Boneh Building and Infrastructure Ltd. and Roltzur Tunnels LP; and Terre Armee Ltd.

Last month, Israel Railways ordered Shafir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd. to begin construction of Section C of the rail link between Sha'ar Hagai and Mevasseret Zion, at an estimated cost of NIS 1.6 billion. Work on Section C is due to begin in November and take three years.

The win will greatly boost Hofrey Hasharon, owned by CEO Eyal Gabay, who serves as VP and chairman of the Infrastructures Division at the Association of Contractors and Builders Ltd.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 4, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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