Oman’s Transport & Communications Ministry has extended the bid submission date for the contract to build packages 7 and 8 of the Batinah Expressway project.

Firms now have until 8 December to submit bids for the construction contract, with the deadline for both tenders having been extended from 24 November.

The ministry has also tendered three other packages for the $3.6bn road scheme before the end of the year. For packages 9 and 10, prices are due on 8 and 29 December respectively.

For package 11, contractors have been set a bid submission date of 19 January 2015.

To date, Oman has awarded almost $2.1bn of construction deals for the first six packages of the project.

In August, India’s Nagarjuna Construction Company was awarded a RO143m ($371.3m) contract to build the retendered second package of the Batinah Expressway scheme.

In 2013, fellow Indian firm Simplex Infrastructures won a $318m deal for package three, while another Indian firm, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), was awarded a $353m contract for package four.

Also in 2013, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) won a $322m contract for package six, while a joint venture led by the local Federici Stirling Batco secured a $345m deal for package five.

In 2012, the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting was awarded a $361m contract for the first package on the expressway project.

The new 265-kilometre-long Batinah Expressway, Oman’s biggest road scheme, will create the first dual four-lane motorway in the sultanate, and will link Muscat to the new Sohar port and the UAE border.