Tender for management of SGR being prepared
The standard gauge railway line from Mombasa to Kampala and Kigali will be given to an internationally recognized railway manager operate once completed in 2018.
Kenya Railway Corporation and the Exim Bank of China say they are currently preparing tender documents for the management of the railway line with the winner expected to be picked in early 2016.
The project which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November last year has faced political and financial challenges raising doubts on its completion date.
The 327 billion shillings railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi is expected to be completed in December 2017 but civil engineers have raised doubts on the practical completion date saying the project is likely to take longer than anticipated.
Chinese based Exim bank is yet to start releasing funds earmarked for the project since it is waiting for the National Treasury to find Kenya’s contribution of 15 percent
Project manager Solomon Oguna says the two parties have reached an agreement on how the funds will be disbursed to avoid delays. Oguna says that once completed the project will be managed by a private railway operator of international reputation.
China is demanding that the manager must have experience of managing Chinese railway lines. Tender documents are being prepared and a manager is expected to be picked in the first quarter of 2016.
RVR investors relations manager Cosma Gatere says RVR has so far invested 10 billion shillings to revive business along the current railway line.
RVR concession is expected to expire in 2031 and it plans to bid for the management of the SGR line.