* Tenders to be issued in April or May -group director
* First tender originally due to be issued in late 2011
- Tenders for the Doha Metro project will be issued in the second quarter, Qatar Railways Co's group director said on Tuesday, in the second delay in tendering the $41 billion rail project.
"It will be in April or May," Ghanim al-Ibrahim told Reuters by telephone.
In October, the company said it would delay tenders until the first quarter of 2012 in order to complete more detailed studies on the project.
Qatar Railways, which had originally planned to issue the first tender by the end of 2011, said in October it had received bids from around 60 consortiums with at least two contractors each.
The project will include four rail lines and will link stadiums for the 2022 soccer World Cup which Qatar will host, with an underground component in the centre of the capital Doha. It is expected to employ more than 20,000 workers during the peak of construction.
Two Doha-based sources said that plans for the project's underground component were in question.
"They're seriously considering whether this will be something people in Doha actually use after the (2022) tournament. An underground metro takes a very long time to build," one source close to the deal said, declining to be identified.
"They are re-evaluating that part of the project."
In 2009 Deutsche Bahn and state-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co signed an agreement to design the project.
The tiny Gulf Arab state, the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter, has allocated 40 percent of its budget between now and 2016 to infrastructure projects.
It plans to spend $11 billion on a new international airport, $5.5 billion on a deep-water seaport and $1 billion for a transport corridor in Doha. It will spend an additional $20 billion on roads. (Reporting By Regan Doherty; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)
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