Ministry signs $35mn agreement with Italferr to provide consultancy services for the preliminary design contract for railway project
The Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) is expected to float the pre-qualification tender (PQT) for the main contract of the national railway project soon, according to HE Dr Ahmed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communication.
On 5 February, 2014, the MoTC signed an agreement with Italferr, the Italian State Railways Group engineering firm, for $35.26 million. The engineering firm will provide consultancy services for the preliminary design contract for the railway project.
“The preliminary design work has already been initiated with the initial foacus on the first leg of the railway network – from Buraimi to Sohar. The consultant is responsible for the preliminary design of the entire railway network of 2,244km,” said Dr Ahmed Al Futaisi.
He added that the tender for selecting the project management consultant was still with the Tender Board for evaluation and that it was expected to be awarded shortly.
“PMC is much required now as its role will be to review the preliminary design. It is clear that the preliminary design consultant is moving fast and has started submitting the drawings for the first segment. We need PMC to review and approve the designs and hope it will be appointed very soon.”
Furthermore, he pointed out that the ministry would soon float two pre-qualification tenders, one for the main contractor for civil work (design and build) and the other for the systems contractor, the winner of which would be a sub-contractor to the main contractor. He said they would be floated within the month of February.
“The qualified contractors will be eligible to bid for the first segment [Buraimi-Sohar] tender, as well as for tenders of other segments of the railway network during the four-year period. We will not conduct other pre-qualifications till four years pass.”
“If we float the pre-qualifications this month, we expect to finalise the winner of the project by the end of this year. It means civil work will commence in the first quarter of 2015,” Futaisi added.
Luca Beccastrini, Middle East area manager for Italferr, said that the Italian firm had already started work on the preliminary design and that the design for the first segment of the railway project would be ready by the end of July this year.
“The duration of the preliminary design contract is 25 months for the entire railway network. We are satisfied with the progress and expect to finish the work within the deadline,” he added.