Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has announced signing a strategic partnership with Herrenknecht, one of the oldest and largest companies specialised in tunnelling solutions, to develop new tunnel design and construction technologies.
The agreement, which took place on the sideline of Expo 2020 Dubai, was signed by Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, and Martin Herrenknecht, Founder and Chairman of Herrenknecht. The agreement comes in line with Etihad Rail’s commitment to foster a culture of innovation and adopt the best international practices in various fields.
Under this agreement, Etihad Rail will send young Emirati engineers to undergo training at the Herrenknecht Academy, at its headquarters in Germany, to exchange knowledge, acquire the necessary expertise, enhance their skills and capabilities and gain first-hand experience in the field of tunnelling.
In addition, the two companies will cooperate to explore areas of optimising the design and construction of the UAE National Rail Network’s tunnels, and exchange technical information and standards to assess the feasibility of tunnelling projects and mechanised tunnelling technologies.
Etihad Rail network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned railway network across the GCC. It has successfully completed Stage One of the network. Stage One is fully operational and was delivered on schedule and within budget. The route spans 264 km, transporting granulated sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to the export point at Ruwais.
Stage Two links the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah Port to Ghuweifat through Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port. Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and mobility in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighbouring GCC countries.