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Mon 3 Sep 2012 02:22 PM

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Nine to bid for Oman $155m rail design project

Parsons, Mott MacDonald, Hyundai and China Railway said to be among those in running

Nine to bid for Oman $155m rail design project
(Image for illustrative purposes)

Nine international companies or groups plan to bid for a contract that could be worth as much as OMR60m (US$155m) to design and consult on the construction of Oman's first major railway, a tender board official said on Monday.

"The companies have been asked to submit new bids to give the process more time. The new deadline is on October 5, for what we expect will be a contract worth between OMR45m and OMR60m rials," the official told Reuters, declining to be named under briefing rules.

He identified bidders as a consortium comprising Denmark's COWI, DBI and AECOM of the US; SYSTRA of France; US-based Parsons; Mott MacDonald of Britain; a consortium comprising Italy's Italferr and Worsely Parsons of Australia; a China Railway company; France's Egis Rail; the Pointec group; and a consortium of Korea Rail and the Hyundai group.

The official said the bids had originally been due to be submitted in July, but the government decided to extend the deadline to give contractors more time.

Oman plans to build a 1,000 km railway at an estimated cost of around OMR5bn, with completion in 2018. The line, part of a scheme to build rail links across Gulf Cooperation Council countries, will run from the northern border town of Buraimi to the southern city of Salalah.

"It will have terminals in each major town along the way to transport goods and passengers," the official said.

Each state in the GCC, which also includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, plans to build its own railway system as part of efforts to boost trade among member states. Each government is to fund construction within its borders.

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