Oman’s Supreme Committee for Town Planning has received prequalification applications for a project management deal on its national Batinah railway project from more than 30 international firms.

The committee received prequalification requests from 32 companies on 14 June for the project management consultancy services contract, company documents seen by MEED show.

The original 31 May deadline for companies to submit prequalification documents was extended to give firms more time to prepare.

Up to 32 firms entered the prequalification applications for another contract to provide design and supervision services for the railway in late May.

The railway will be built in three phases. The first phase will be made up of a 230 kilometre line that runs from Sohar to Muscat. The second phase will involve building a 560km line running from Muscat to Duqm. Oman may then decide to extend the line to Salalah, which would involve building a 580-km track.

Later plans may also see the railway extend to Muscat city itself. If this plan goes ahead, it would involve building a metro system in the capital.

France’s Systra and the local National Engineering Office have carried out the feasibility study for the project.

When Oman’s national railway network is complete, it will form part of the wider GCC railway network (MEED 1:6:10).