Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry has awarded an OR706m ($1.8bn) contract to a consortium of US’ Bechtel, the local Bahwan Engineering and Turkey’s Enka to build the new passenger terminal at Muscat International airport.

The ministry made a preliminary decision to award the consortium the project this week, according to a source close to the project.

The consortium is expected to begin work on the terminal by the end of the year. It is estimated the work will take 38 months to complete. The new building will cover a total area of 300,000 square metres and will have a total capacity of 12 million passengers annually.

The ministry had recently received revised bids from the three lowest bids for the project. When prices were submitted in November 2009, Cyprus-based J&P submitted the lowest bid with a price of RO746m ($1.9bn). Turkey’s TAV and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) was second at RO748m and the Bechtel/Bahwan/Enka group was third with a bid of RO806m.