Parliament has approved a US$398,330,000 commercial contract agreement for the design and construction of an 84.8 km single standard gauge railway line from Tema to Akosombo on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

The project, which forms the foundation of a planned multi-modal freight corridor, is a partnership between the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) and AFCONS Infrastructure Limited of India, with the latter as the financier.

The project, when completed, will expedite the movement of cargo from the Tema Port, which will in turn improve vessel turnaround time to make the port more competitive.

It is also expected to address the imbalance between transport modes for long distance transit and domestic freight from the south to the northern part of the country.

Vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport, Kwame Governs Agbodza, said of the project on the floor of parliament: “The implementation of the project will link the Tema Port to the Volta Lake transport network especially north-south movements.

This will open up the lake to the transportation of various cargo either than fuel and cement as is the current situation.”

The Tema-Akosombo rail line was originally among the set of projects to be procured under the China Development Bank (CDB) facility which failed to materialise hence the need for alternative funding.

Works on the project will include the building of six rail stations at the Tema Port, Tema Industrial Area, afienya, Doryimu/Kodiabe, Kpong and Akosombo Town.

Railway heads or terminals will also be constructed at Tema and Akosombo including the provision of operational facilities and loading equipment.

Aside easing the pressure on the road networks along the corridor, the rail line will also significantly reduce the cost of transportation of bulk commodities as well offer an alternative and cheaper means of transport for passenger who ply that route.

Mr. Agbodza stressed: “The railway line will also facilitate the carting of cotainerised cargo and agricultural produce from the SADA enclave to the Tema Port for export.

The duration for the project is three and a half years and it is expected to take off when 70 percent of the land has been handed to the contractor free of all related issues.

Credit: B&Ft Online 

(By: Patrick Paintsil)