FIRST BUGESERA AND NOW TANZANIA’S SGR CONSTRUCTION AS MOTA ENGIL SPREADS ITS WINGS
(Posted 05th February 2017)
Regular sources in Dar es Salaam have confirmed that the Tanzanian government has wasted no time following the visit of Turkish President Erdogan two weeks ago.
It is understood that a Turkish company, Yapi Merkezi, has emerged as the top contender to help construct some 300 kilometres of the new SGR, short for Standard Gauge Railway along Tanzania’s central transport corridor.
The company signed relevant contracts with the Railway Assets Holding Company on Friday, alongside Portuguese company Mota Engil, which rose to sudden prominence outside Portuguese speaking countries in Africa last year when it signed a major deal with the Rwandan government to construct and manage under a concession agreement, the new international airport in Bugesera outside Kigali.
The deals are worth some 2.7 trillion Tanzania Shillings and cover a portion of the line which will eventually be 1.300 kilometres long, linking the port of Dar es Salaam with hinterland countries like Rwanda and Burundi and possibly extend as far as Eastern Congo.
Construction, due to start within two months, is estimated to take some 2 1/2 years to complete but other sections too need to be constructed at the same time to make the entire line operational.
It could not be established to what extend Turkey will step up in co-financing the project as the sources claim Tanzania at present will only be able to inject 1 trillion Tanzania Shillings into the project, needed additional financial resources to complete the project in time.
It is expected that contracts for other sections of the new central SGR line will be awarded over the coming weeks to fast track the project and bring the railway connection to Rwanda in on time, ahead of the Mombasa – Nairobi – Naivasha – Malaba – Kampala line.