The Oman Ministry of Transport and Communications has invited bids from project consultancy companies to manage the 265km-long Batinah Expressway project.

Considered to be one of the biggest projects in Oman, it will extend Muscat Expressway road up to the Oman-UAE border at Khatmat Malaha and is crucial for boosting the economic potential of the region’s Sohar Industrial Port and special economic zone.

The winner will manage the full project, which is valued at OMR1bn ($2.6bn) and divided into six packages.

Documents of the tender will be distributed until 26 September 2012, and the last day for submission of bids is 22 October 2012, reported the Times of Oman.

The Batinah Expressway is also expected to reduce travelling times between the Muscat and UAE border by nearly one hour.

It is being built parallel to the Batinah highway and is an extension of the 53km-long Muscat Expressway.

The Ministry has already floated tenders for the majority of the six packages.

In February 2012, it awarded the first package, valued at OMR139m ($361.2m), to Galfar Engineering, which is expected to complete the linking of Barka with Suwaiq within the next three years.

A consortium of Malaysia’s WCT Berhad and Oman Roads Engineering Company recently secured the second package contract for the construction of the second phase of the carriageway, covering a stretch from Suwaiq to Shinas.

The first and second sections of the carriageway, together a 180km-stretch, has been designed by an American multinational consultant Parsons International.

Turkish company Bosphorous Technical Consulting Corporation provided consultancy services for the remaining section of the 265km-long project.