Ministry of Transport invites international consultants to bid for provision of consultancy services
A long awaited tender for the preliminary design of Oman’s National Railway Network has been floated in Muscat on Sunday, paving the way for the beginning of the estimated $15.5bn project, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced.
The Ministry is overseeing the execution of the scheme, which will add a rail component to the country’s multimodal transportation system for the first time. The nation-wide network will also be integrated with the proposed GCC railway system, a report by the Oman Daily Observer said.
Tender 4/2013 invites qualified international consultants to bid for the provision of consultancy services to the Ministry of Transport for the preliminary design of the National Railway Project. According to the paper, the tender process is not limited to the five consortiums that were prequalified to bid for the previously shelved design engineering package floated by Omani authorities. This was scrapped following a comprehensive review of the rail project.
As a result, design consultancies that did not take part in the original tender process, will be able to participate this time around. In addition, a tender package for the Project Management Consultancy Package, which is due within the next two or three months, is expected to be open to fresh bids.
The tender comes just over a month after the government gave its assent to diesel-based traction as the primary mode of locomotion for Oman’s national railway system, the paper said. This replaced an earlier decision which saw the network run on electricity.
The National Railway System is part of the proposed inter-GCC railway network that will run from Kuwait to Muscat, and onward to Salalah and possibly to Yemen.
The 1,061km national network will be built in phases. Phase 1 will consist of four segments: (i) from Sohar Port to Muscat (comprising a 242km link from Sohar Port to Al Misfah (Muscat), an 8km spur line to Sohar Railway Yard, and a 20km link from Al Misfah to Muscat Central Station; (ii) from Muscat to Duqm Port (comprising a 486km line from Al Misfah to Duqm, and an 84km link from Sinaw to Ibra; (iii) from Sohar to the UAE border via Al Ain (comprising a 136km line from Sohar to Al Ain and a 27km spur to Buraimi.
The Duqm — Salalah section is also proposed to be implemented as part of phase one, although a 58km length from Sohar to Khatmat Malaha on the UAE border has been deferred to a subsequent phase.