Chinese Win U.S.$7.6 Billion Bid for Railway
Tanzania's Ministry of Transport, Samuel Sitta, has selected a Chinese consortium to build the $7.6 billion proposed 2,561 kilometre standard gauge railway connecting Dar port to landlocked neighbours along the Central Corridor. Sitta told the budget session in Dodoma last week, construction of the standard gauge railway will commence in June 2015 after a consortium of Chinese railway company lead by China Railway Materials (CRM) was picked to build what is said to be the single biggest project by Tanzania since independence. According to Sitta, the consortium will provide 10% of the funding for the project while financial adviser Rothschild is finalising procedures for financing of the project through banks.
Another major railway line project to link coal and iron ore mine projects in the southern western Region of Njombe (600 km from Dar es Salaam) to the Mtwara Port (500 km from Dar es Salaam) is also in the offing. He said that the government signed a framework agreement with another Chinese company, China Railway No.2 Engineering Group Company Limited. to build a railway line from the coal and iron ore mine projects in Ludewa, Njombe Region to the southern port of Mtwara. The 1,000-km standard gauge railway line is expected to cost at least $1.4 billion (Tsh.2.52 trillion), according to the government estimates. The railway line is expected to unlock the huge coal and iron ore reserves which will make Tanzania one of the top four iron producers in Africa, once commercial production begins. According to the National Development Corporation (NDC) Tanzania is set to produce 1.1 million metric tonnes annually.
(East African Business Week/Kampala)