ITALIAN Rail Network (RFI) has awarded a consortium of Webuild and Ghella a €1.2bn contract to build the 27km Lot 4A section of the new railway under construction between Palermo and Catania in Sicily.

The new line is part of the TEN-T network’s Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor and is designed to cut the journey time between Palermo and Catania by 60 minutes to two hours.

The Lot 4A contract is being financed by the country’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Webuild leads the joint venture with a 75% stake, with Ghella holding the remaining 25%. The construction work will be undertaken by Webuild and its subsidiary Seli Overseas, and Ghella and its subsidiary TunnelPro.

A map and information graphic showing the location and details about the 27km Lot 4A of the Palermo - Catania high-speed and high-capacity line project. Picture credit: Webuild

Lot 4A covers the section between Caltanissetta Xirbi and Nuova Enna and will run mostly underground via 20km of tunnels, of which 90% will be excavated using TBMs. Lot 4A also includes 4km of elevated sections.

Webuild is involved with five sections of the new line with a combined project value of around €3.6bn. The other sectionsare the Bicocca - Catenanuova and Nuova Enna - Dittaino lots between Palermo and Catania, and the Taormina - Giampilieri and Fiumefreddo - Taormina/Letojanni lots between Catania and Messina. 

The contractor says its involvement in the overall project has created around 4300 direct and indirect jobs and has created a chain of 580 suppliers.

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