Chinese Companies Pile on in Bidding for Tel Aviv Light Rail

tel aviv light rail
A bulldozer demolishing a home in the southern Tel Aviv neighborhood of Kfar Shalem last July, part of preparations for the Tel Aviv Light Rail. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Four of the six infrastructure companies competing for a tender in the Tel Aviv Light Rail are state-owned Chinese firms, continuing China’s efforts to penetrate the Israeli market.

The light rail project, which includes the Green Line and Purple Line, aims to serve over half a million commuters daily.
The tender, is billed as the biggest in Israel’s history and worth approximately NIS 15 billion ($4.14bn.), and includes the design, finance, construction and maintenance of the two light rail train lines, according to NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System, the company tasked with designing and constructing the light rail.

The six consortia competing are Spanish company CAF with Shapir Engineering; Chinese company CRRC with Shikun & Binui and Egged; French company Alstom with Electra, British developer John Laing and Dan; German company Siemens with Minrav, Allied and Paz; Chinese company CREC with Canadian firm Bombardier, Excellence, Noy Fund and Phoenix; and an all-Chinese consortium of CCCC and CHEC.

The Green Line, part of which will run underground, will connect the cities of Holon and Rishon LeTzion with central Tel Aviv, and continue to Tel Aviv University, the industrial and commercial zones of Western Herzliya and Atidim Business Park.

The Purple Line is being built to connect the eastern regions of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area with the city center, serving Kiryat Ono and Yehud, as well as Bar-Ilan University and Sheba Medical Center.

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