Webuild Bags Palermo-Messina-Catania Railway Contract
The Webuild Group has won another contract in southern Italy that will see it contribute to the doubling of the capacity of Palermo-Catania-Messina high-capacity railway in Sicily. The design-and-build contract for Fiumefreddo-Taormina/Letojanni Functional Lot 1, a subsection of the Giampilieri-Fiumefreddo section of the railway, is worth about EUR 640million, including safety costs. The contract follows another one valued at EUR 1.003 billion that was recently won by the Group to work on the 2nd Functional Lot of the Taormina-Giampilieri section of the railway.
Commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo FS Italiane), Webuild will lead with a 70% stake in a consortium that includes Pizzarotti as partner with the remaining 30%. The lot, which will create 8,000 jobs, concerns work along 15 kilometres of the railway between Messina and Catania, from Fiumefreddo to Taormina/Letojanni. It includes an interconnection at Taormina/Letojanni, the dismantling of installations along the existing line between Fiumefreddo and the link with the historic line. The latest contract will also involve the construction of an underground station at Taormina, an artificial tunnel at Fiumefreddo, three natural tunnels at Calatabiano, Letojanni and Taormina, and two viaducts at Fogliarino torrent and Alcantara viaduct.
The project is part of the Messina-Catania-Palermo railway axis, which in turn belongs to the Scandinavia-Mediterranean corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) sustainable mobility initiative. Once completed, travel between Messina and Catania will be approximately 30 minutes faster, facilitating a service similar to a metro line between Catania and Taormina/Letojanni. The Webuild Group is already working on doubling the capacity of the Bicocca-Catenanuova section of the Palermo-Catania railway that will allow trains to go at speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour between the Sicily’s two main cities.
The project is the latest contribution by the Group to the development of sustainable mobility in Italy, especially in the south of the country. It is a development that the country is pursuing with increased determination with new investments in southern Italy with funds from the Piano Nazionale di Ripresa and Resilienza (National Plan of Recovery and Resilience). Other projects in the south include the third mega lot of the Ionian State Highway, followed by two contracts recently won by the Group for the design and construction of sections along the Naples-Bari high-speed railway (Orsara-Hirpinia worth €1.075 billion and Orsara-Bovino worth €367.2 million). These improvement of the infrastructure network - thanks to Progetto Italia, an initiative to consolidate the construction sector of the country - will benefit the supply chain that works alongside the Group: 7,000 companies on approximately 20 projects run by the Group in Italy, with contracts worth a combined €7.5 billion. They have given these businesses the opportunity to grow and become more competitive in the country and abroad with the construction of iconic projects such as the upcoming high-speed railway mega project in Texas, a final contract that the Group recently signed for $16 billion.