Riyadh Metro: Bechtel-led team starts tunneling

Updated 08 July 2015
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Riyadh Metro: Bechtel-led team starts tunneling

JEDDAH: A consortium led by global engineering, project management and construction company Bechtel has begun tunneling on Line 1 of the Riyadh Metro, marking an important milestone in the construction of this landmark project.
Riyadh Metro is set to be the country’s first underground rail system and one of the largest in the world.
The Bechtel-led consortium, which includes Saudi company, Almabani General Contractors, Middle East-based Consolidated Contractors Company, and Germany’s Siemens AG, is responsible for the $10 billion contract for the design, construction, train cars, signaling, electrification and integration of Lines 1 and 2 — two of the most challenging lines on the Riyadh Metro project.
The work includes 39 stations, two of which are key interchange stations: Olaya Station, situated in the center of Riyadh at the intersection of Lines 1 and 2, and King Abdullah Financial District Station, located slightly to the north on Line 1.
“The metro, set to be the cornerstone of Riyadh’s new public transport network, will revolutionize how people move around the city,” said Amjad Bangash, Bechtel’s director on the project.
“Sending our team’s first tunnel boring machine on its underground voyage is a significant step for all.”
Bangash said the tunneling work beneath the streets of the Saudi capital will prove challenging.
“Getting early agreement on the alignment in the heart of the city was crucial to advance the detailed design work needed to start tunneling. We appreciate the efforts that our client, Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), and many other stakeholders undertook in helping us achieve this.”
The first tunnel boring machine, Mneefah, named after the horse of Saudi Arabia’s founder King, will steadily ramp up to its planned average tunneling rate of about 325 feet (100 meters) per week and is expected to complete its journey by mid-2016.
In total, seven tunnel boring machines will be deployed by the Bechtel-led team to dig and construct more than 21 miles (more than 35km) of tunnels beneath the capital city.
Riyadh is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, with a population expected to increase 50 percent by 2035 to 7.5 million.
The Riyadh Metro is part of a 25-year strategic plan prepared by the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh to cater for this growth. When complete, the 109-mile (176km), six-line driverless network will serve 400,000 passengers.
A global leader in the rail industry, Bechtel has successfully delivered some of the largest and most complex rail projects in the world, including the Channel Tunnel, High Speed 1, the San Francisco BART system and the Athens Metro.
The company is currently providing project management services on Crossrail in London, UK, which is Europe’s largest civil engineering project, and where 26 miles (42km) of tunneling has just been completed on schedule.
It is also working on the Rio de Janeiro Metro in Brazil and the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension in Canada.
Bechtel is among the most respected engineering, project management, and construction companies in the world.
Bechtel operates through four global business units that specialize in infrastructure; mining and metals; nuclear, security and environmental; and oil, gas, and chemicals.
Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents.


Morgan Stanley beats estimates on higher trading revenue

Updated 18 July 2018
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Morgan Stanley beats estimates on higher trading revenue

  • Morgan Stanley said net income rose to $2.4 billion in the quarter from $1.8 billion a year ago
  • Banks are benefiting from increased market volatility due in part to escalating trade tensions

NEW YORK: Morgan Stanley reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, driven by gains in its fixed income and equities trading businesses, rounding up a strong earnings season for US banks.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. have all reported second-quarter earnings which beat expectations, with only Wells Fargo & Co. missing estimates.
Banks are benefiting from increased market volatility due in part to escalating trade tensions causing investors to buy and sell assets to protect their portfolios and take advantage of opportunities. Morgan Stanley highlighted its equity financing business and a stronger performance in commodities and credit products.
Morgan Stanley said net income rose to $2.4 billion in the quarter from $1.8 billion a year ago. Earnings per share rose to $1.30 from $0.87 the year before, beating the average analyst expectation of $1.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.
Shares in Morgan Stanley were up 2.9 percent in premarket trading.
Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said the bank had seen strength across all its businesses and geographies.
“The second quarter performance reflected active markets and healthy client engagement,” he said in a statement.
Net revenue from the bank’s sales and trading business rose 18 percent to $3.8 billion, with fixed income and equity trading businesses recording gains of 12 percent and 15 percent.
Rival Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday its trading revenue rose 17 percent, with bond trading showing a 45 percent jump and equity revenue remaining flat in its second quarter.
Morgan Stanley’s net revenue rose 12 percent to $10.6 billion, with institutional securities accounting for 54 percent of the gains. Institutional securities business comprises the bank’s investment banking and trading units.
The bank said net revenue at its wealth management business rose to $4.3 billion from $4.2 billion a year ago.