10:14 am - Saturday 23 May 2015

Oman evaluates bids for $13bn national rail system

By staff - Wed May 30, 5:59 am

The Ministry of Transport and Communications for Oman has a special team evaluating the bids for the engineering of the $13bn national rail system, which is being contested by five consortiums, each led by leading names in global rail engineering and construction industry.

The ambitious project is part of larger plans for an integrated multimodal transport network that will encompass ports, airports and highways. The evaluation of bids for the key Design and Supervision package has already been completed.

“Our team has completed the evaluation and there are discussions right now between us and the Tender Board on the next step of awarding the contract,” said Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the third TransOman Conference.

The five contestants are left in the race for the contract:

AECOM, Cowi & Partners and DBI
Systra, Parsons and Atkins
Mott MacDonald, Italferr SpA and WorleyParsons
Korea Rail in a partnership with seven other Korean firms
Prointec Group, Idom, Eurostudies and ALG.

The rail project encompasses 1,000km of track, with delivery expected to be spread across a four year period.
“The railway project will be a game-changer for Oman. It will not only create more business opportunities for our ports and airports, but also enhance connectivity with other countries, thereby contributing to employment generation and economic growth,” said Al Futaisi.

“This is one of the ministry’s key strategies. With the help of consultants, we are trying to study how to build a supply chain that will link Oman with other parts of the world.”

The five segment railway network will comprise a 242km Muscat-Sohar line, a 486km Muscat-Duqm line, a 166km Sohar-Al Ain line, a 58km Sohar-Khatmat Malaha line and a 646km Duqm-Salalah line.

Another much-delayed tender for the Project Management Consultancy (PMC) package on the project is still under review, said Al Futaisi, who hoped that it will be also finalised in the near future.

Ten international firms have prequalified to participate in the PMC tender, which will see the successful bidder supervise the various project phases and system planning aspects of the project.

The network will consist of a double track and a standard gauge system, which will allow trains to run at a speed up to 350km/hr.

Source: Construction Week Online

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