Muscat: As many as 18 consortiums have been pre-qualified for civil work and another five consortiums for the prestigious 2,244-km-long Oman national railway project, according to sources at Oman Railway Company (ORC).
ORC, which is responsible for implementing the project, has received 34 quotations from 95 local and international companies for prequalifying themselves for a design-and-build civil infrastructure and railway track contract, while nine quotations have been submitted by 14 local and international firms for pre-qualifying themselves for technology systems for the national railway project.
However, a senior official declined to name the pre-qualified companies for the civil work and technology systems.
2,244-km-long rail plan gathers speed
The railway systems contractor will serve as a sub-contractor of the main contractor, who will be responsible for the integration, testing and commissioning of the network.
ORC will now ask the pre-qualified companies to submit their bids for these two key contracts and the prequalification is valid for four years. And the construction work on Oman national railway project is expected to start by the first quarter of 2015, after selecting a design-and-build contractor for the first segment. The railway project is expected to be operational by 2018.
In fact, the 2,244-km-long national railway project is gathering momentum as the Ministry of Transport and Communications signed three agreements for speeding up the work early this year. Among the three pacts, the first one was signed with Italferr, an Italian engineering firm, for providing consultancy services for preliminary route design.
Another major consultant for managing the project will be selected soon from three multinational firms - Tecnicas Reunidas, Dohwa Engineering and Parsons International - which have submitted their bids. Among the three, South Korea's Dohwa is the lowest bidder for project management consultancy work.
According to the plan, the 170 km-long Sohar-Buraimi route is the first segment to be implemented. The national railway project, which is 700-kms long and 120-kms wide, is divided into nine segments, including Duqm-Thumrait-Salalah, Sohar Port-Muscat, Al Misfah-Sinaw, Thumrait-Al Mayzouna and Sohar Port-Khatmat Malalah. The whole railway network will have 30 small stations, 10 interim stations, six large stations and eight marshalling yards.
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