The government is preparing to invite bids in late January for the contract to build a 250-metre urea berth at Sohar port. The scope of works may also be expanded to include the construction of a 550-metre aluminium berth for the new smelter that is proposed at Sohar. Work is already under way on the dredging, breakwaters and quay walls for the port, which will serve Sohar’s industrial zone.

The tender will be limited to the 18 companies that prequalified for the contract to build the quay walls and liquid berths, awarded last year to Turkey’s STFA. The scope of works will be limited to the construction of the berths, with the alongside dredging falling under the scope of the main port dredging, reclamation and breakwater package. A South Korean team of Daewoo Corporationand Hyundai Engineering & Constructionwas awarded this contract in 2000 (MEED 5:5:00).

Contractors will be given up to 90 days to prepare their bids, followed by an award in the second half of the year. Bidders are also expected to be invited to bid before the end of 2002 for the contract to build the port’s main service infrastructure and buildings. The consultant on the project is the UK’s Halcrow Group, with the local Ibn Khaldun Consulting Engineers.

The go-ahead of the aluminium berth is contingent on the government finding a strategic partner for a $2,500 million aluminium smelter planned for the coastal town (Construction, MEED Special Report, 11:1:01, page 34).