Multidisciplinary consultant Atkins is to oversee the design and construction of Khazaen Economic City in Oman.
The $6.8m contract covers the masterplanning, design and supervision of Khazaen, which is intended to be a 50 sq km "logistics city" centred on a dry port and warehouse complex for the capital city of Muscat.
In the longer term, it is planned to incorporate residential areas, schools, hospitals and retail, according to the state-owned Oman Logistics Company, which is the co-owner of the project, along with Saudi-based Mohammed Ali Al Swailem Group.
The city will be developed in five phases, each expected to take five years, depending on market demand. The dry port and "Block One" – a truck terminal and food market – will form the nucleus, after which it will grow from a logistics hub into a normal city.
The contract for Atkins’, now owned by SNC-Lavalin, covers the first five-year phase, and may be extended another two years.
It includes supervising the environmental and planning stages, as well as running the procurement process and supervising the work on site.
Atkins beat a shortlist that included Parsons International of the US, KEO International Consultants of Kuwait, and F&M Middle East Consulting Engineers of Oman.
Kalat Al Bulooshi, the chairman of Khazaen, commented in a press statement: "The contract award comes after months of in-depth evaluation and discussions with each of the shortlisted firms.
"Atkins will lead the concept masterplan and detailed masterplan work, which is expected to take around six months to complete."
Khazaen will be the second logistics city in Oman, after the Duqm port and special economic zone on Oman’s Indian Ocean coast. Atkins was appointed in 2016 to work on the first phase of that project. Oman is hoping to transform Duqm from a 12,000 population fishing village in 2010 to 100,000 port city by 2020.
Image: Oman Logistics’ rendering of Khazaen Economic City