The three bidders are Galfar Engineering & Contracting, Hassan bin Juma bin Baker Trading & Contractingand National Construction & Trading. The estimated RO 70 million-80 million ($180 million-205 million) contract calls for construction of a main collector and central and secondary pumping stations and connection to the network of 18,000 properties. Bids are also due by 19 July for the Al-Ansab sewage treatment plant, which is the third package on the first phase of the scheme, covering the Bawshar and Darsait catchments (MEED 11:6:04, Tenders). The first contract went to the local Bahwan Engineering Company.

The formation of OWSC in late 2002 followed the government’s failure to attract private developers to undertake the project on a build-operate basis. However, eventual privatisation of the system is envisaged and Denton Wilde Saptehas been appointed to advise on the process (MEED 28:5:04).

Phase 2 of the scheme is due to begin in 2005 and will extend coverage to Seeb, Amerat and Qurayat. The total scope of the project encompasses 24 pump stations, 55 kilometres of rising mains, 2,600 kilometres of gravity sewers and 285 kilometres of treated effluent pipeline. At present, the majority of the capital’s population is served by a septic tank system (Oman, MEED Special Report, 28:5:04, pages 34-35).