Oman’s Transport & Communications Ministry has extended the submission deadline for contractors to submit bids for two packages on its 265-kilometre Batinah Expressway project.

Contractors now have until 6 August to submit bids for the fifth package of the expressway scheme and until 10 September to submit prices for the sixth package. The previous submission date for the fifth package was 2 July and 6 August for the sixth package. It is believed that the deadlines have been extended to allow contractors more time to work on submissions.

The Batinah Expressway will extend from the current Muscat Expressway to Khamat Malaha, located on the Oman/UAE border. The road will run parallel to the existing Batinah highway.

In May, the ministry received bids for the third phase of the expressway project. Indian contractor Simplex Infrastructures submitted the low bid of RO116m ($300m), which was 6.8 per cent lower than the RO124.4m bid submitted by the joint-second lowest bidders, Turkey’s Makyol Gulf and the local Oman Roads Engineering Company. The local Khalid bin Ahmed & Sons submitted the marginally higher bid of RO124.5m. This was followed by the RO125m price submitted by Turkish contractor Sezai Turkes.

The expressway project has been allocated about RO250m in the Sultanate’s eighth Five-Year Plan (2011-15), which was announced by the government in early 2011.