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BEIJING: China State Construction Engineering Corp’s (CSCEC) Middle East subsidiary is fully engaged in the construction of the 139-km Package A of Etihad Rail’s 605-km Stage 2 project, connecting Ruwais and Ghuwaifat in the United Arab Emirates.

Etihad Rail is the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network. The CSCEC project signifies Chinese companies’ unrelenting efforts to help the global community through cross-border cooperation for high-quality development, against a backdrop of extremely trying circumstances created by the Covid-19 impact on economies across the world.

Acceleration of vaccination, however, has created a window of opportunity to press ahead with infrastructure projects that could usher in long-term benefits.

Projects such as the one in the UAE are bringing Chinese and local workers and professionals together to work shoulder to shoulder, underlining a shared humanity and a shared future in a globalised world.

“We work together, we eat together, we sit together and we discuss things together. This bond and coordination are the main reason that we can do a good job in this project, ” said Alam Gir Khan, project director.

In fact, bilateral cooperation is helping the project construction to progress ahead of schedule.

“Based on the current progress and schedule, works under contract are expected to be completed before Nov 9, ” said Qiang Lianhe, chief representative of the project.

Taking shape under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework, the project involves works like earthwork, and construction of structures like bridges, tunnels, roads and level crossings. CSCEC will also deliver rails and link Package A with Stage 1 of the network.

“We made a promise to complete it three months ahead of the contract date, and we are inching closer to that promise day by day, though it’s a tough goal to achieve, ” Qiang said.

When the rail deal was signed in 2019, Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak said project completion ahead of schedule could make an enormous difference to the region.

Etihad Rail’s goal is to expand the UAE’s railway network in order to improve all aspects of freight transport across the border and around the region, placing it at the centre of regional goods movement as a global logistics hub.

“Everyone has worked so hard and contributed to putting this together in such a short space of time and I would like to tell you that I’m proud of each one of you and hope that everyone at Etihad Rail feels a part of pride and joy, ” said Malak in a letter to the construction team. — China Daily/ANN

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