The local Oman Roads Engineering Company submitted the low bid of RO115.4m ($299.9m) for a contract to build the second phase of the 265-kilometre-long Batinah Expressway project.

Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry received bids from 14 companies for the contract on 2 April. The second phase covers the section of road from Suwaiq to Shinas.

The Oman Roads Engineering Company bid was 1.7 per cent lower than the RO117.3m price submitted by India’s Simplex Infrastructures, the second lowest bidder. The local Galfar Engineering & Contracting submitted the third lowest price of RO117.6m. The Turkish contractor Makyol Gulf submitted the fourth lowest bid of RO118.9m.

The 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.

In March, the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting was awarded an estimated RO138.9m contract by the Transport and Communications Ministry to build the first phase of the expressway.

The first phase of the project covers the construction of the 45km stretch of the road from Naseem Garden to Suwaiq and is scheduled to take three years to complete. On 6 February, 17 contractors submitted prices for the 43km-long third package on the expressway project.

The Ministry has also invited contractors to submit bids for the fourth phase of the expressway project. Contractors have until 7 May to submit bids for the construction package. The scheme has been allocated about RO250m in the sultanate’s eighth Five-Year Plan (2011 to 2015), which also outlines plans to spend $15bn on the development of new roads, airports and ports.

The Batinah Expressway is not the only major road project that the Sultanate is pushing ahead with. The transport ministry recently tendered two contracts to upgrade the existing Sinaw-Duqm road.