The low bidder is a consortium of the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting Company and India’s Larsen & Toubro, which has bid RO473m ($1.22bn) for the work.

The other bidders are Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) with Turkey’s TAV, with a bid of RO509m, Cyprus-based Joannou & Paraskevaides at RO520m, and Austria’s Strabag, which submitted two prices of RO581m and RO587m.

The work involves building the northern runway, taxiway system, aprons, roads, utility buildings and other civil works. Further packages will cover a terminal building, an air traffic control tower and ancillary buildings.

The terminal will be built between the airport’s runways. It will have a floor area of 290,000 square metres and connected to the existing terminal by a rail link. It is due to be completed by 2011.

The airport, formerly Seeb International, handles 4.5 million passengers a year, but will have capacity for 12 million passengers a year once the work is completed. Three additional phases could increase capacity to 48 million passengers a year.

A team of Denmark’s Cowi and the local Larsen Architects & Consulting Engineers prepared the concept designs for the project.

A joint venture of France’s Aeroports de Paris and Pakistan’s National Engineering Services Pakistan & Partners is the project manager.