Shapir Engineering & Industry Ltd. (TASE: SPEN) and its Spanish partner CAF Group have won the tender to build, operate and maintain the Green Line and build the Red Line extension and operate and maintain the entire Red Line of the Jerusalem light rail, the Ministry of Finance has announced. The Inter-Ministerial Tenders Committee preferred the bid of Shapir-CAF over the rival bid from a consortium of Egged, Shikun u'Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN) and China's CRRC. The largest-ever tender published in Israel is worth an estimated NIS 10 billion.
The winning consortium of Shapir and CAF is called TransJerusalem J-Net Ltd. As part of the bid, the consortium will also receive the Red Line to maintain and operate after the State has brought it back from CityPass. The concession of the Jerusalem light rail Green and Red lines is for 15 years with an option for another 10 years. Maintenance will be for 25 years regardless of whether the option is taken up.
TransJerusalem J-Net Ltd. will begin planning work this year with operation being gradually introduced between 2022 and 2025.
The Ministry of Finance says that the two lines when completed with transport 500,000 passengers per day making it one of the biggest mass transport systems in Europe and the Middle East. In addition to the existing Red Line, 27 kilometers worth of new lines will be built and 50 new stations. 100 new carriages will be procured, and a central depot and garage and control and command center built. Bridges for the light rail will be built at major junctions as well as park and ride centers at the city's periphery.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said, "This is historic news for Jerusalem. I am delighted and excited about the choice of operator for the continued construction and operation of the city's light rail. Mass transit systems are the solution for congestion on the roads, and will bring more people to rapid, efficient and safe transport in the city. It will also significantly reduce air pollution and increase access throughout the city. Jerusalem Municipality will join force to speed up the work and bring about additional light rail lines as quickly as possible for residents."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 8, 2019
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