Chinese bidders shortlisted for Ghana railway project

Eastern Railway Line is considered vital to the development of port and infrastructure capacity in Ghana, and various Chinese companies are in the running for the project

The Ghana Railway Development Authority has shortlisted six bidding teams for the US$1.68 billion Eastern Railway Line PPP.

Richard Diedong Dombo, chief executive of the Ghana Railway Development Authority, did not disclose the names of the six companies. But local media implied that the companies were located in China, France, Germany, Ghana and the US.

Reports circulated last year that China Gezhouba Group, China Harbour Engineering and China Road and Bridge were all interested in the build operate transfer (BOT) project.

The final six have been sent to a tender review committee.

According to the bid documents, the Eastern Railway Line links Accra to Kumasi with a branch line from Achimota to Tema port. The total track length is 330 kilometres. Apart from the stretches from Accra to Nsawam and Accra to Tema, which are being used for passenger traffic, the line is currently not operational due to its poor state. The reconstruction of the Eastern Railway Line will include financing, development and operation of the line, and will include the provision of rolling stock, station upgrades, signalling and communication equipment.

The document says that the Eastern Railway Line will enhance the operational efficiency of the port at Tema, and provide an alternative, faster, safer and more efficient mode of transportation for freight from Tema Port to an inland port at Boankra.

Work on the US$1.5 billion Tema project, which will triple its capacity, is already underway, by Bolloré of France, APM Terminals of The Netherlands, and Aecom from the US. The rail line is vital in aims to expand throughput at the port.

In addition, it is being proposed to use the re-constructed Eastern Railway Line for passenger services from Tema Port/Accra to Kumasi.

The Government of Ghana has emphasized the need to involve the private sector in the development of public infrastructure by promoting PPP.

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