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EPC contract for railway project likely by year-end


Muscat: The Ministry of Transport and Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) on Wednesday unveiled that marine logistics, digital and economy, and development of dry ports (truck cargo) will be its priority areas for the years to come.

It was said that 40% of the development projects in the budget are attributed to the ministry and tenders worth RO230 million were awarded this year.

Speaking to the Observer, Eng. Saeed bin Hamoud al Maawali, " As a priority, we will continue to focus on providing services to the country and unlock some of the key economic sectors with the right policies - marine sector, trucking/road transport. We will continue to tap investment opportunities in the ports sector and the digital economy with the help of the private sector."

On the UAE-Oman railway project, which will link the GCC countries, he said, "We expect by the end of this year or early next to award the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) for this project. "As such, the actual work on the ground will take a year or so from the awarding of the EPC."

He reaffirmed that the government is working on the railway project that will offer a link to Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development said that it would compensate 521 affected cases affected by North al Batinah and Al Buraimi within six months as part of the activities involving the Oman Railway project as per mechanisms approved by the government.

The Oman and Etihad Rail Company, the developer and operator of the railway network linking Oman and the UAE, and Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) have signed a cooperation agreement to develop the railway network linking the two countries.

The network will extend over a distance of 303 km with a total investment value of $3 billion. "The cooperation agreement includes the formation of working groups and a joint committee to benefit from common capabilities and knowledge, and joint work to develop an economic and financial feasibility study, in addition to joint investment in developing the railway project between the Emirates and Oman and joint cooperation to enhance the added value of the project," the CNBC Arabic said. The signing of the agreement follows the establishment of the Oman and Etihad Rail Company, which is equally owned by Oman Rail, the developer of the national railway network in the Sultanate of Oman, and Etihad Rail, the developer, and operator of the national railway network in the United Arab Emirates, according to the agreement that was signed last September. When ready, the passenger train will travel at 200 kilometers per hour to cover the distance between Suhar and Abu Dhabi in 100 minutes and 47 minutes between Suhar and Al Ain, while the speed of freight trains will have a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour. The trains will have a capacity to ferry 12,000 passengers per day and 250,000 containers at the start of the line's operation.

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