Oman $1bn road to tender before end 2015

12 July 2015

Delay in tender release expected due to project scale

  • Prequalified contractors await release of tender from MOTC
  • Road to connect previously inaccessible town of Lima

Nine consortiums are waiting for the release of tender documents for the Diba-Lima-Khasab road project several months after they were prequalified by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“A delay in the floating of the tender is expected for a project of this size, at least in Oman, but we are optimistic that the ministry will tender the project prior to end of 2015,” says a source close to the project.

The ministry plans to develop the road project using a design, build and operate (DBO) contract with winning contractor maintaining and operating the road for a period of 20 years. The project, estimated to cost $1bn, will connect the town of Khasab on the peninsula’s north coast and the remote town of Lima on the eastern coast, which is not currently accessible by road.

The dual carriageway will stretch 65km from Al-Khaldiyah near Khasab to Diba. The work includes seven tunnels totalling 7.3km and 18 wadi and valley bridges totalling 3.8km and two flyover intersections. Each lane will be 3.65m wide with 2.5m asphalt shoulders.

The nine prequalified consortiums for the project are:

A long-term operations and maintenance contract is seen as particularly beneficial for road projects to ensure that they are built using the most efficient raw materials such as polymer-modified bitumen, among others. A design-and-build scheme alone could lessen the contractor’s accountability for the long-term sustainability of roads. It is understood that most road projects in developed economies utilise the DBO model for this purpose.

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