Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry has received bids for the contracts to build the first phase of the dual carriageway between Bidbid and Sur.

The ministry received bids from 12 contractors on 22 December 2010.

The first phase of the road project is divided into packages 1a and 1b. Both of the packages will involve the construction of about 50km of dual carriageway and some minor adjoining roads. The work will also include constructing bridges and cutting and filling work.

A joint venture of Italy’s Astaldi and Turkey’s Ozkar Insaat Sanayl Ve Ticaret submitted the lowest bid for phase 1a of the project with a price of OR125.2m ($325m). This was 13.5 per cent lower than the OR144.7m price submitted by the second lowest bidder, Ireland’s Roadbridge.

Turkey’s Makyol Spain’s submitted the third lowest bid of OR147.9m, which was followed by a OR151.8m price submitted by India’s Simplex Infrastructures.

The joint venture of Italy’s Astaldi and Turkey’s Ozkar Insaat Sanayl Ve Ticaret was also the low bidder for phase 1b of the project, having submitted a price of OR121.6m. Turkey’s Sezai Turkes submitted the second lowest price of OR137m.

Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) has been appointed as consultant for the first phase of the project. Denmark’s Cowi & Partners has been contracted as consultant to study, design and supervise the construction of the dual-carriageway for 143km second phase of the road.

The road between Bidbid and Sur is a major transport link in the sultanate, connecting the capital city of Muscat to the Sharqiyah region in the north-eastern part of Oman (MEED 17:9:10).