Makkah-Madinah rail project: Tata Steel wins major order

Updated 18 August 2013
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Makkah-Madinah rail project: Tata Steel wins major order

Tata Steel has won an order to manufacture 60,000 tons of high-quality rails for a new high-speed line linking Makkah and Madinah.
The new railway will allow millions of pilgrims to cross the 444 km between the two holy cities at speeds of 200 mph (320 kmph).
The line will cross desert, withstanding temperatures ranging from freezing to 50oC, as well as sandstorms, flash flooding and shifting dunes.
Gerard Glas, rail sector head for Tata Steel, said: “This is a prestigious project which will see the holy cities being linked by rail for the first time.
“Tata Steel is delighted to be contributing to this high-speed line, which will have to overcome some major challenges presented by building a high-capacity rail line across some of the most extreme terrain in the world.”
Steel for the project will be made at Tata Steel’s Scunthorpe plant before being rolled into rail in lengths of 25 meters both there and at the company’s plant in Hayange, Northern France.
Work on producing the rail will start at the end of this year and is expected to continue throughout 2014.
Tata Steel rail has already been used successfully in similarly challenging conditions for projects in Brazil and Mauritania.
Last year, the Saudi Railways Organization awarded the contract for the final phase of completing, running and maintaining the Haramain High-Speed Rail Project to a group of Spanish infrastructure, construction and technology companies.
The new line is expected to carry around 160,000 people a day — and even more during the Haj pilgrimage. They will be transported on a fleet of 35 new high-speed trains.
The project started in 2009, with an estimated cost of more than 12 billion euros.
The new rail line is set to open to the public in late 2014 or early 2015.
Aside from the two holy cities, the line will have three other stops — two in Jeddah for commuters and one in the new King Abdullah Economic City, a prestigious Saudi residential, industrial and commercial macro-complex that is being built.
Spanish construction companies — Copasa, Imathia and OHL — are responsible for building the line’s superstructure and the track bases, as well as for the line’s mechanisms.
The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe’s second largest steel producer. With the main steelmaking operations in the UK and Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, lifting and excavating, energy and power, aerospace and other demanding markets worldwide.
The combined Tata Steel group remains one of the world’s largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tons and approximately 80,000 employees across four continents.


BP and SOCAR sign new Azeri oil deal

Updated 19 April 2019
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BP and SOCAR sign new Azeri oil deal

  • The Azeri Central East (ACE) platform, the latest phase of Azerbaijan’s giant Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields extension program, is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day
  • BP and the government of Azerbaijan extended their agreement to continue developing the ACG fields until 2050 in a major deal in 2017

BAKU: Oil major BP and Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR signed an agreement on Friday to build a new exploration platform for the South Caucasus nation’s three major oilfields, BP-Azerbaijan said in a statement.
The Azeri Central East (ACE) platform, the latest phase of Azerbaijan’s giant Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields extension program, is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day and cost $6 billion to build, the company said.
The project is one of the biggest upstream investment decisions to have been signed in Azerbaijan so far this year.
The ACG fields, which to date have produced around 3.5 billion barrels of oil, are estimated to have the potential to yield another 3 billion barrels.
BP’s main aim now would be to maximize the extraction of remaining reserves, Robert Morris, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement.
“ACE is central to those plans, adding 100,000 barrels per day of production at peak in the mid-2020s,” he said.
BP and the government of Azerbaijan extended their agreement to continue developing the ACG fields until 2050 in a major deal in 2017.
Separately, SOCAR and its partners at the BP-led ACG consortium plan to participate in a tender to acquire stakes being sold by two of its members, ExxonMobil and Chevron.
SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev made the announcement to reporters following a meeting of senior SOCAR figures on Friday.