OMAN is planning to float tenders for building two more segments of the railway network this year, even as design for the entire network will be ready by the year-end, said a senior official of Oman Railway Company (ORC).
The sultanate’s ambitious 2,135-km-long national railway project is divided into nine segments for easy implementation with technical bids having been submitted by pre-qualified companies to build the first 207-km-long Sohar-Buraimi segment last month, according to a report.
Commercial or financial bids for the same segment will be submitted next month. A contract to build the first segment will be awarded by the second half of this year, said the Times of Oman.
“By this year, we are targeting two more tenders. We are still trying to identify those (segments). However, connecting Duqm and Salalah ports is our priority,” Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, chief executive officer of Oman Railway Company, said.
“Sohar is connected in the first segment, and the next one is Salalah, which is our target. We start moving from Buraimi all the way to Duqm and Salalah,” said the official, adding, “We want to learn from the current tendering process to prepare different segments for tendering.”
He also noted that the design of the remaining eight segments is going on. Italferr, an Italian engineering firm which is involved in designing routes for the entire rail network, is expected to complete the design work by the end of the year.
Referring to the Sohar-Buraimi tender, Al Hatmi said that the authorities would not complete technical evaluation of the first segment before receiving commercial bids from pre-qualified companies. As many as 18 consortiums for civil infrastructure and five for technology systems have been pre-qualified for the project.