Tanzania chooses Turkish, Portuguese firms for its sh.2.6tr SGR project
BY MOVINCE ODUOR
The Government of Tanzania has inked a deal with Turkish and Portuguese firms to build its standard gauge railway.
Turkish construction firm Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi and Portugal’s Mota-Engil SGPS SA have been awarded sh. 2.6tr contract to build Tanzania’s standard gauge railway. The line will cover approximately 300km stretching from Dar Es Salaam to Morogoro. Announcing the signing of the contracts, Tanzania’s railway infrastructure authority Reli Assets Holding Co (RAHCO) confirmed construction will commence in March and consume at least 30 months before completion, adding that the selected firms were qualified and met threshold to do the job.
The contract signing follows shortly after Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Tanzania earlier in January. President Erdogan pledged Turkey’s full support and commitment for Tanzania to boost trade and infrastructural developments as well as tightening diplomatic ties. Turkey agreed to fund the multi-billion shilling project through the Turkish Exim Bank.
Reli Assets Holding Co acting managing director Mr. Masanja Kadogosa said the Dar Es Salam- Morogoro railway is just a sneak pick of the transformation the transport sector will experience, adding that the country had put more emphasis on leveraging modern technology on its systems. “The SGR is just the beginning, more projects are coming as we are committed towards creating a country with modern infrastructure.” He said.
Tanzania’s rail locomotives. The new SGR will have train speeds of up to 160km/h.
Once complete, the train speed will run at 160km per hour, which is far much faster than the current 30km per hour. This buoys Tanzania as the second country after Morocco to have the fastest train in Africa, followed by South Africa and Ethiopia. Morocco is currently working on rails that will allow speeds of up to 200km per hour.
A road signage. The new SGR line will connect Dar es Salaam and Morogoro.
Works, Transport and Communication minister Prof. Makame Mbarwa said the railway will run from Dar Es Salam to Kigoma and Mwanza branching through to Mpande. The scope of the work shall involve construction of a 205km main way and 95km of interchange railway as well as stop-stations along the stretch. It shall have a total of twelve stations erected, where six will serve passengers and the remaining six to serve for interchange railway.
The standard gauge projects marks a major milestone in Tanzania’s quest for an upgraded infrastructure under its second Five Year Development Plan (2016/17-2020/21).The project has created a buzz in the construction sector, with local cement and steel dealers among other suppliers eyeing a windfall of opportunities.
The new line extending to Morogoro is part of an initially planned 2200km of standard gauge railway connecting Dar Es Salam with Kigali in Rwanda, Musungoti in Burundi and Lake Victoria Port at Mwanza.