The Thelo DB consortium (consisting of Thelo DB and Transtech Consult Limited) has signed a Rail Management Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Ghana through the Ghana Railway Company Limited, to develop and operationalise the Western Railway Line. The Signing Ceremony for the US$3.2 billion project took place in Accra, Ghana on 22 August 2022.
The 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).
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.
John-Peter Amewu, Minister of Railway Development, Ghana, commented: “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.”
The fully integrated development model is an innovative one for Africa the railway sector especially because the Western Rail Line Project will be funded on a ring-fenced project finance basis.
This agreement is further testament to the importance that President Akufo-Addo’s government places on our railway sector.
Ronnie Ntuli, Chairman of Thelo DB, said: “The intention of this Project is to develop, implement and operationalise the Western Railway Line as a fully integrated railway system to enable efficient mobility of freight and passengers.
This, will in turn, catalyse investment, infrastructure development, promote trade, skills development and job creation thereby generating broader economic growth in Ghana, and hopefully, the broader West Africa region.”
Mr. Ntuli praised the government of the Republic of Ghana, for identifying the railway sector and this project in particular as a catalyst for development, and the role of Ministry of Railway Development and the Ghana Railway Company, in operationalising the vision to develop and modernise Ghana’s hard and soft railway infrastructure systems.
Source: Deborah Ross