Oman floats tenders for rail link between ports

Oman is accepting tenders for a new 1,207km stretch of railway linking the three major ports of Sohar, Duqm and Salalah
Railway extension will link Duqm, Sohar and Salalah
Railway extension will link Duqm, Sohar and Salalah

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Oman Rail has floated tenders for the construction of an additional 1,207 km of railway infrastructure linking the country’s three maritime gateways at Sohar, Duqm and Salalah with its national rail network and, ultimately, the GCC-wide rail system.

Through back-to-back tenders, the Omani company aims to complete three further segments of the nine-segment national rail network by awarding contracts worth an estimated $6bn (AED22bn) to $8bn (AED29.3bn), reported the Oman Daily Observer.

Segments Two, Three and Four cover the distance from Hafeet on Oman’s border with Abu Dhabi all the way down to Salalah in Dhofar Governorate, via Haima and Duqm. Together with Segment One, which extends from Sohar Port (Batinah North Governorate) to Buraimi on the Sultanate’s border with the UAE, they represent the backbone of the country’s rail network.

The segments includes a technically challenging 93-km stretch from Thamrait to Salalah Port, traversing rugged terrain crisscrossed by major wadis.

Bidders looking to build the first phase linking from the UAE's border through to Buraimi and the port of Sohar include five Italian-led consortia, three Chinese-led groups, two Indian firms and bids from Korea's Hyundai and Austria's Porr Group. Oman Rail announced earlier this month that the list had been narrowed to five, and that the second stage of the process will now review the financial aspects of the bids.

The bidders which made it into the second stage are:
•Salini Impregilo
•China State Construction Engineering Corp with SK E&C
•Saipem with Rizzani de Eccher
•Larsen & Toubro with FCC Construcción and local partner Khalid bin Ahmed & Sons
•Porr Bau with Yüksel, Sarooj Construction Co and Daewoo E&C

The contract is to be awarded by the end of this year. Italferr has prepared preliminary designs, and a consortium headed by Técnicas Reunidas has been selected to provide project management consultancy services.

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