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Advance Rail Group (ARG) to focus on Rail and Tunnelling in Qatar 08 May 2011

Advance Rail Group (ARG) to focus on Rail and Tunnelling in Qatar

UAE-based Advance Rail Group (ARG) will expand its operations into Qatar with plans to offer its rail and tunneling expertise to the Qatar Government’s planned US$ 35 billion rail program.

ARG expects the Qatari government investment in this strategically important rail program to generate around 25,000 regional jobs. ARG is currently in discussion with its Qatari partners to ensure the project maximises key social and environmental benefits for Doha and the wider Qatar region.

ARG was formed in October 2010, when the Al Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) joined forces with leading Australian rail contractor John Holland, to pursue an expected US$75 billion in rail projects within the GCC region.

ARG is registered as the Advance Rail International Company LLC in the UAE and has commenced the formal registration process for licensing in Qatar. The Group has ready access to HLG’s resources, including its 25,000 strong workforce.

The Group is well placed to assist in the delivery of Qatar’s planned projects and has the capability to deliver high quality design, planning, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure including, track work, specialist tunneling works, overhead traction systems, signaling and communications systems.

ARG offers full service delivery to its client needs, from complex metro systems operations to strategic rail projects including key freight and resource and mining based railway infrastructure and operating solutions, all of which are part of the Qatar Government’s future rail development program.

Speaking as a sponsor of the 2nd Annual Middle East Rail Opportunities Conference being held in Doha on 9-10 May, ARG’s Chairman, Karl Mociak, said the Group’s push into Qatar represented an important milestone for the business

“We are showcasing our capabilities and engaging with strategic local partners to address the requirements of some of the complex issues associated with the development and delivery of the projects planned for Qatar.  These projects include the Doha Metro, the West Bay People Mover, and the National Passenger and Freight Program,” Mr Mociak said.

“An important aspect of our business plan is to engage with Qatari nationals to incorporate local knowledge into our business, to recruit local people, resources and services, and assist with the development of a railway operational culture in the region.”

Mr Mociak said the Group had already been familiarising itself with some of the more complex technical aspects of the planned projects and was developing initiatives and delivery solutions.

“We are familiar with the technical challenges inherent in the extensive tunnel excavation components of these types of projects.  We are already in discussions with tunneling experts to develop optimal solutions for the Qatar Government,” he said.

ARG is one of the UAE’s most capable rail contractors, combining the local knowledge of HLG with the technical expertise of John Holland which is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Leighton Holdings, HLG’s largest shareholder. ARG is currently bidding for key projects in the GCC region.

HLG CEO and Managing Director and ARG shareholder Laurie Voyer welcomed ARG’s expansion into the Qatar rail market.

“Rail is one of HLG’s key market sectors and the establishment of ARG in Qatar reflects our ongoing strategy of using our specialist skills to build new partnerships with our established construction businesses and our commitment to the region in this emerging industry sector,” he said. 

“Qatar plays a substantial role in the development of the rail market in the Gulf region.  I am confident ARG is well placed to secure a good percentage of this work.

“Support from our existing Doha construction business combined with support from our strategic local partners will complement ARG’s skill set and enable us to offer integrated project delivery solutions.

“We look forward to this opportunity to work with the Qatari Government on these significant railway infrastructure developments.”