Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry has invited contractors to submit bids for the contract to build the sixth phase of the 265-kilometre Batinah Expressway project.

Contractors have until 6 August to submit bids for the 45km sixth package of the road project. 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.

The Transport and Communications Ministry recently received bids from contractors for the third phase package on the expressway scheme. Indian contractor Simplex Infrastructures submitted the low bid of RO116m ($300m) for the third phase package on 9 May.

The Indian contractor’s bid 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.

The third package will involve building a 43km stretch of the Batinah Expressway.

In March, the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting was awarded an estimated OR138.9m contract by the Transport & Communications Ministry to build the first phase of the expressway scheme.

The expressway project has been allocated about RO250m ($650m) in the sultanate’s eighth five-year plan (2011-15), which was announced by the government in early 2011.