Sapphire Corp's new acquisition Ranken Infrastructure wins China railway contracts

SINGAPORE - Singapore-listed Sapphire Corporation said on Wednesday (Dec 9) that its recently acquired engineering, procurement and construction business, Ranken Infrastructure, has won new railway infrastructure contracts in China worth 916 million yuan (S$200 million).

Ranken, which Sapphire acquired in October this year, will carry out new projects for urban rail transit metro lines in two cities, Guiyang and Qingdao, and construct a tunnel as part of the 1,814km cross-country Menghua Railway project over the next two to three years.

Of the three contracts, the 2.3km urban rail transit No. 2 Guiyang Metro Line (Phase One) in Guiyang, worth 428 million yuan (S$93.7 million), is the largest and is expected to be completed within 24 months.

Ranken, as a member of a project consortium led by China Railway Engineering Corporation to bid on a project in Qingdao, also secured for itself railway infrastructure engineering contracts worth about 377 million yuan (S$82.5 million) in Huangdao District, Qingdao.

The contracts are for the China University of Petroleum and Taihang Mountain Road underground stations along the No. 1 Qingdao Metro Line , as well as a tunnel connecting both stations, which Ranken will complete within 35 months.

For the Menghua Railway project, Ranken will act as subcontractor for the construction of a tunnel at Dawei Mountain, which will take place over 35 months.

The entire railway will link Inner Mongolia to five provinces and end at Jiangxi. Ranken's contract is worth about 110.5 million yuan (S$24.2 million).

The acquisition of Ranken is a key part of Sapphire's new growth strategy following the disposal of its legacy steel business last year, the firm said in a statement.

"The Group's foray into rail infrastructure development comes at a time when governments and companies in China and South-east Asia are investing substantially in rail lines, roads and other infrastructure."