ISRAEL Railways (IR) announced on December 6 that it had selected Sociedad Española de Montajes Industriales (SEMI), Spanish based railway infrastructure company, part of ACS group, as preferred bidder for a design-build-maintain contract for the country's railways' electrification programme.
SEMI beat three competitors - Alstom, Elecnor, and Siemens - to reach the final stage of the electrification tender. The contract covers the electrification of 1,080 single track-km (420 route-km) at 25kV 50Hz ac, and includes design and construction of 14 substations as well as catenary and control systems.
The total cost of the programme is estimated to be Shekels 12bn ($3.1bn) including NIS 2bn for infrastructure.
IR general manager Mr Boaz Zafrir noted that "The electrification programme, is without doubt one of the most significant projects to be carried out since the foundation in 1948. It will entirely change the face of the company; the number of trains per day will double and service quality will be further improved."
Work is expected to start in February 2016 and the first electric train is due to run on the new A1 link from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in March 2018. Created in 1919, SEMI is a leading company within the electricity and industrial sector. Its name is synonym of tradition, experience, and future. The company is distinguished for its adapting capacity, typical of small and medium-sized companies; its company infrastructure, characteristic of a large-sized company; and the financial support of a consolidated firm.
SEMI has international subsidiaries which provide services to all levels. It is established in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Morocco, Venezuela, Panama and Mexico, and partners in other countries such as Portugal, Israel, Nigeria, Brazil.