Oman set to fast track $15bn rail network plan
Oman's plans for a national railway project will be fast-tracked and completed in a single phase instead of three phases as proposed earlier, it was reported on Monday.
The government is reportedly close to appointing a management consultant for the transport project, which is estimated to cost up to OR6bn ($15.5bn) and set to extend 2,244km across the country.
"We are in the process of reviewing and evaluating the tenders and hope that by the end of this month, we will send our recommendations to the Tender Board to process these further," said Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, in comments published by Times of Oman.
The first contract for the rail network will be awarded by the end of 2014 and a section of the railway project is expected to become operational by 2018, he told the paper.
"We are going ahead (with the project) on a fast track and through this forum, we are asking the private sector to think about investment strategy and take advantage of the available opportunities," he added.
The railway system will have 30 small stations, 10 interim stations, six large stations and eight marshalling yards, the paper reported.
Al Futaisi said the newly-formed Oman Railway Company (which is under the Ministry of Transport and Communications) would take care of the entire implementation programme, including procurement.