Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry has extended the submission date for two contracts on a major road expansion project.

The ministry has extended the submission date for second and third sections of the project to upgrade the existing Sinaw-Duqm road to 30 April. The previous submission date was 9 April for both packages. It is thought that the deadlines were extended to allow contractors more time to work on bids, according to a contractor based in the sultanate.

The packages form part of the scheme to upgrade the Sinaw-Duqm road into a dual carriageway.

The ministry received bids from contractors for the first package on the road project in August last year, but is still to award the contract. The local Premier International Projects submitted the lowest bid of RO38.4m ($99.5m), with the local Ali & Company Trading & Contracting submitting the second lowest price of RO38.5m. The Oman Roads Engineering Company submitted the third lowest bid of RO38.6m.

The Sinaw-Duqm project is part of the government’s wider plans to upgrade the road links throughout the sultanate.

The Transport and Communications Ministry recently awarded an estimated RO138.9m contract to the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting Company to build the first phase of the 265-kilometre Batinah Expressway project.

The 265km-long Batinah Expressway will extend from the current Muscat Expressway to Khatmat Malaha, located on the Oman/UAE border. The road will run parallel to the existing Batinah highway. 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.