GHANA has signed a Rail Management Agreement with the Thelo DB consortium (comprising South Africa’s Thelo DB and Germany’s Transtech Consult Limited) under which the latter will develop and operate the Western Railway Line.
The $3.2bn project includes planning (all project preparation-related activities, such as feasibility studies, demand analysis, preliminary and detailed design, and procurement consulting); implementation (systems engineering design, construction supervision, design review, audit systems engineering, testing and commissioning of rolling stock and infrastructure); and operations and maintenance management (early train operator, consulting services in terms of infrastructure operations, rolling stock operations, infrastructure and rolling stock maintenance).
A statement released on Monday by the consortium said when completed, the project, which includes the associated infrastructure, training and Operations and Maintenance Management, will transform Ghana’s existing rail network into a modern, robust and integrated railway system running from the Port of Takoradi to Huni Valley to Obuasi, including the branch line from Dunkwa to Awaso to Nyinahin and to Eduadin.
The investment for the Ghana Western Railway Line Project will ensure that the rail infrastructure is upgraded and that there is interoperability of railway systems; new standardised rolling stock; required maintenance facilities; a spare parts regime and operational integration into other transport infrastructure and systems, the statement added.
Commenting at the signing ceremony on August 22, John-Peter Amewu, Minister of Railway Development said: ‘Currently, the transportation of freight, including minerals and other bulk commodities along the Western Corridor is predominantly by means of the road network due to the poor state of the railways. The Western Railway Line has a very huge potential in terms of the haulage of both liquid and bulk cargo.
‘For instance, current projected annual haulage on the Western Rail Line for manganese and bauxite is about 7 million and 15 million metric tonnes respectively. An additional 5 million metric tonnes of bauxite is estimated to be mined and transported annually from the new bauxite deposit at Nyinahin using the railway.
‘The Bulk Oil Storage and Company Limited has also projected to haul over 1.5 billion litres of oil products along the corridor. Other commodities that are transported along the Western Corridor include cocoa, timber, cement, among others which also have huge haulage potential based on their respective projected volumes. Rail transport is therefore critical to the success and achievement of all these traffic projections since it provides a cheaper and more efficient means of transporting such commodities.’