Webuild Group has been identified as the best bidder for a €367.2-million design-and-build contract for the Orsara-Bovino section of the Naples-Bari high-speed railway under development. Webuild would lead on the project with a 70% stake in the consortium, the remaining 30% being held by Pizzarotti.
Commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo FS Italiane), the project would create an estimated 5,000 jobs, the latest contribution to be made by the Group to the development of sustainable mobility in Italy, especially in its southern region. Under the Piano Nazionale di Ripresa and Resilienza (National Plan of Recovery and Resilience), the government is planning significant investments to modernise the country’s infrastructure and create jobs also along the supply chain to help with the recovery of the economy.
Webuild recently won another sustainable mobility contract worth €1.07 billion to design and build a section of a high-capacity railway extending from the Brenner Base Tunnel between Fortezza and Ponte Gardena on the Italian side of the Alps. It is to create approximately 15,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, as well as along the supply chain, providing a major boost to the local economy.
The Orsara-Bovino section is part of an upgrade of the Naples-Benevento-Foggia-Bari railway, which foresees a doubling of the line’s capacity in order to make rail transport more competitive than road transport. The upgrade will improve the rail network in the southeast with a high-speed/high-capacity service that will increase service across the south.
The Orsara-Bovino section is to be 11.8 kilometres long and support trains travelling at speeds ranging between 200 and 250 kilometres per hour. The project will double the capacity of the existing single-rail train service along this section, passing for the most part through a tunnel of 9.871 kilometres in length. It will also comprise a temporary connection of a double-rail line with the historic one for 1.08 kilometres, supporting trains travelling at speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour.
The Naples-Bari railway will serve as a strategic axis for the development of sustainable mobility in the region. It will reduce by about half the travel time between Naples and Bari to just two hours. It will also bring northern and southern Italy closer together, bringing the time to travel between Milan and Bari down to six hours. The construction of the line is supporting the economy and creating jobs in the region. Two other sections of the railway being built by the Group – Naples-Cancello and Apice-Hirpinia – employ more than 2,200 men and women. It involves a supply chain of approximately about 400 businesses.
The Naples-Cancello section will have a new station in the town of Napoli-Afragola. Built by Astaldi of the Webuild Group, it will serve as an interchange with regional and high-speed trains. About 15.5 kilometres long, the section will pass through the towns of Casoria, Casalnuovo, Afragola, Caivano and Acerra. The second section of the Naples-Bari line will run for 18 kilometres between Apice and Hirpinia, crossing the Apennine. This section will include a station at Hirpinia and three natural tunnels and four viaducts.
Webuild’s commitment to southern Italy dates back to the 1930s. It has been involved in the construction of more than 280 projects in the region, and is currently involved in 10 public works that involve 1,700 suppliers with combined contracts worth approximately €950 million. In Sicily, it is working on the Bicocca-Catenanuova section of the Palermo-Catania high-capacity railway. The Group is also set to make two more projects operative in the near term, one of which being the Taormina-Giampilieri section of the Catania-Messina railway. The Group recently renewed its commitment by launching a programme to hire 100 young engineers to enable them to contribute to the development of their region.