The local Galfar Engineering & Contractingis low bidder on each of the six options for the construction of the southern expressway, a 56-kilometre partial bypass around Muscat, following the long-awaited submission of bids on 1 November. The client is Muscat Municipality.Ten out of the 16 prequalified bidders are understood to have submitted offers. For the main option, covering construction of the entire road, Galfar’s bid of RO 131.7 million ($337.7 million) was 6.2 per cent lower than the second lowest bidder – Turkey’s STFA– at RO 139.8 million ($358.5 million), and 12 per cent lower than the third lowest bid of RO 147.6 million ($378.5 million) from Bahrain’s Cebarcowith Malaysia’s WCT. Among the other bidders are China Railway, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), Larsen & Toubroand Punj Lloyd, both of India, Austria’s Strabag and Turkey’s Tekfen. Bidders were asked to price the main contract and five separate stretches of the road, with the municipality’s decision whether to implement the project in phases dependent on the amount of funding available. The contracts cover: Qurum to the Nizwa crossing, worth about RO 106 million ($272 million); the Nizwa crossing to Naseen, worth about RO 27 million ($69 million); Qurum to Al-Khuwair, worth about RO 25 million ($64 million); Al-Khuwair to Al-Ansab, worth about RO 36 million ($92 million); and Al-Ansab to Naseen, worth about RO 46 million ($118 million). The local office of Parsons Internationalis the consultant (MEED 2:7:04).