• Two consortiums led separately by Italy’s Saipem and Salini are thought to be competing for the deal
  • Issues surrounding financing understood to be a key issue

A key executive at Oman Rail has told local media the company is in a quiet period because of due diligence work for the first segment of its rail scheme.

Segment 1 is a 207-kilometre rail network connecting Sohar Port with Buraimi on the sultanate’s border with the UAE.

Nathan Wiles, Oman Rail’s general manager for projects, told local media the company “will be reporting out to the market in good time”.

MEED reported earlier that an announcement was expected from Oman Rail in early September, based on industry sources who are familiar with the project.

It is believed that two Italian-led consortiums, fronted by Saipem and Salini Impregilo, are closely competing for the Sohar-Buraimi rail segment.

Industry sources think that changes to the financial structure of the project are being discussed. The original plan was for the GCC rail fund to take on 80 per cent of the project and the rest to be paid for by the Omani government.

Three other segments of the Oman Rail scheme are at the prequalification stage. These are the link between Duqm and Salalah Port, Hafeet to Dharirah, and the stretch between Thumrait and Salalah.

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