A contract award for the design and construction of the first segment of the Oman National Railway Project could be awarded as early as before the end of 2014, according to a senior official overseeing the implementation of the ambitious undertaking. Abdulrahman al Hatmi, Director of the Oman Railway Project, said a timeline envisaged by the government for the execution of the multibillion rial project would also see the key Preliminary Design Consultancy (PDC) and Project Management Consultancy (PMC) contracts going out before the end of this year.
"We have segmented our contracts into the Preliminary Design Consultancy, Project Management Consultancy, and Design & Build packages. We are targeting the award of the Preliminary Design Consultancy contract in June, which will be followed by the Project Management Consultancy contract.
Hopefully, before the end of this year, we will have the PDC and PMC consultants up and running. We will also start the prequalification process for the Design & Build phase, and hopefully award at least one of the contracts before the end of next year," Al Hatmi stated.
The Project Director made the announcement in a keenly awaited presentation on the Oman rail venture on the second day of the GCC Supply Chain and Logistics Conference, organized by Al Nimr Expo, at Al Bustan Palace — A Ritz Carlton Hotel. Bids for the Preliminary Design Consultancy tender close next week with more than 30 local and international firms registering their interest to participate in this key package.
Later in remarks to journalists, Al Hatmi explained the first segment of the 1,061km network for priority implementation would be the Al Ain — Sohar Port section. He added however: "But (linking) Salalah is important too. During the design phase, we will discuss the possibility of having parallel executions between Al Ain and Sohar, and Al Ain and Salalah via Muscat."
In his address, Al Hatmi was also upbeat about the immense multiplier effect the rail project would have on investment opportunities, employment generation, socio-economic development and the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
Oman Daily Observer