Rail contractors from Spain, Italy, China, Turkey, South Korea, Germany, and France are among a dozen groups that are understood to have been prequalified by Oman Rail to compete for construction contracts to implement the next three segments of its National Railway Project.

Omani construction firms are also vying the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts as members of consortiums bidding for the lucrative packages, Oman Daily Observer reported. 

Prequalified groups include Salini Impregilo (Italy); a joint venture (JV) of Saipem (Italy), Rizzani de Eccher (Italy) and Dogus (Turkey); a JV  of Porr Bau (Austria), Yuksel (Turkey), Daewoo Engineering and Construction (South Korea), and Sarooj Construction (Oman); a JV of Acciona Infrastructuras (Spain), STFA (Turkey) and Tecnimont Civil Construction (Italy); a JV of Astaldi (Italy) and Samsung Construction &Trading (Korea); a JV of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (China), Larsen & Toubro (India) and SK Engineering & Construction (Korea), among others. 

Also prequalified are a JV of Corsan-Corviam Construccion (Spain), Cooperative Muratori, and Cementesti (Italy), Orascom Construction (Egypt) and Zubair Construction (Oman); a JV of Eiffage Travaux Public (France), Yapi Merkazi (Turkey), and GS Engineering & Construction (Korea); a JV of Condote d'Acqua (Italy), Itinera (Italy) and SWS Engineering (Italy); a JV of Strabag (Germany)/ and Consolidated Contractor Group (Greece); and a JV of Vinci Constrution (France), Aktoor (Greece) and Vinci Contruction Terrassement (France).

Segments two, three, and four cover a distance of over 1,200km, stretching from Hafeet on the Sultanate's border with the United Arab Emirates in the north, all the way down to Salalah in the far south of the country.

Together with Segment 1, which extends from Sohar Port to Buraimi on the Sultanate's border with the UAE, they represent the strategic backbone of the country's rail network linking the country's three maritime gateways at Sohar, Duqm and Salalah with the GCC rail system.

Prequalification offers for the three segments closed in July 2015, the report added.

Under a separate prequalification tender, Oman Rail had invited railroad contractors with experience in undertaking complex civil infrastructures, to prequalify for the 93km Thamrait-Salalah stretch, representing Section 4c of the national rail network.

This section traverses mountainous terrain, thus necessitating the construction of a large number of major bridges, tunnels and viaducts along this stretch.