By: Conrad Prabhu
MUSCAT: Joint venture partnerships led by railway construction giants from Italy, Austria, Korea, China, Turkey and India are among 11 international groups competing for the multibillion dollar Segment 1 package of the Oman National Railway Project.
Commercial bids for Segment 1 — covering the 207 km stretch from Sohar Port to Buraimi on the Sultanate’s border with the United Arab Emirates — were submitted by March 1, 2015, marking the culmination of a roughly yearlong tendering phase for the selection of a Main Contractor to implement this key section on a Design and Build phase. Corresponding technical offers were handed in by January 18 earlier this year. Yesterday, Oman Rail — tasked by the government to oversee the implementation of a world-class passenger and freight based rail network for the Sultanate — listed the 11 bidding groups.
The successful bidder stands to win a contract that is widely billed as the largest and most complex infrastructure development in the Sultanate to date. Expected to cost several billions of dollars, the design and build contract covers the design, supply, installation, construction and completion of works related to Segment 1 comprising three distinct sections: Sector 1A, covering a distance of 127 km, connects the station of Sohar to the Oman-UAE border at Al Buraimi and Khatmat Milahah.
Sector 1B is a 34-km spur line that departs from Sector 1A and ends at Buraimi station. Sector 1C is 38 km spur line connecting the Port of Sohar to Sector 1A. A contract award is likely to be announced early in the third quarter of this year, with construction work on Segment 1 slated to commence before the end of this year or early in 2015.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER