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Russian Railways wins $800 million Saudi project tender

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Russian Railways announced on Monday it had won an $800 million tender to build a 520-km (323-mile) rail line in Saudi Arabia.
MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Railways announced on Monday it had won an $800 million tender to build a 520-km (323-mile) rail line in Saudi Arabia.

"The company received an official letter of invitation to talks today from the Saudi Finance Ministry for a contract worth around $800 million," the Russian railroad monopoly's press service said.

The Russian company will build a line from Al Zabirah to the King Khalid international airport (Riyadh) in central Saudi Arabia, which will make up over one fifth of the North-South rail line in the Mideast state, which will have a total route of 2,400 km (1,500 miles).

The North-South project was launched in Saudi Arabia in 2005 to develop phosphate and bauxite deposits in the country's north and reduce the economy's dependence on oil exports. The entire project is expected to cost over $2 billion and is expected to be finished in 2010-2011.

In June 2006 Russian Railways was authorized to participate in tenders to build sections of the North-South line. The company submitted its tender application on October 2007 to the state investment fund under the Saudi Finance Ministry.

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