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Steel prices won’t affect Haramain Train project
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1/1/2010

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JEDDAH – An official at the Haramain Train project said that despite soaring steel prices, work on the project is going on and will not stop. He said the project requires 200,000 tons of steel for the construction of 134 bridges and 141 railroad underpasses. According to the official, the first phase of the project is being carried out according to plan. He said that engineering work between Kilo 200 and Kilo 320 started last May and once completed, work on Kilo 380 toward north of Madina will begin. Necessary arrangements for the construction of nine bridges for cars and camels between Jeddah and Madina have already been made, he added. Last week, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (Sabic) officials met with more than 100 steel distributors to discuss raising the price of steel next by SR500 to SR2,745 a ton. The step comes after the Ministry of Commerce and Industry gave its approval for steel importers to increase their prices by 10 percent, to offset the greater costs to import the commodity. Experts said they expect the price of steel will not stabilize before mid-April when the prices – for measures from 16 mm to 32 mm – will stabilize at SR2,900 to SR3,000 a ton for imported and locally-manufactured steel. The move comes in the wake of steel importers complaining that they have to compete with cheaper locally produced steel. The Haramain High Speed Rail project, a 444 km long, double line transport system, will link Makkah and Madina via Jeddah. The rail line is planned to provide a safe and comfortable transport in 320 kilometer per hour and is expected to carry three million passengers a year, including many Han and Umra pilgrims, helping to relieve traffic congestion on the roads. – Okaz/SG