Ghana shortlists six for Eastern Railway public-private partnership

Six companies have been shortlisted for Ghana’s 330km Eastern Rail project, a build-operate-transfer scheme that will link the capital of Accra with the second city of Kumasi, with a branch line from Achimota to the newly developed port of Tema.

This news was given by Richard Diedong Dombo, the chief executive of the Ghana Railway Development Authority. He did not disclose the identities of the companies but they are reported to come from China, France, Germany, Ghana and the US.

The existing network, with the dates it was built

Last year, China Gezhouba Group, China Harbour Engineering and China Road and Bridge were reported to be interested in the scheme, as were African Rail of Ghana and TFMC Rail Mark, which is registered in the US.

Mr Dombo said: "The government of Ghana cannot fund the project from its resources so we retained Price Waterhouse Cooper as our transaction adviser and the tenders were sent to the international community for interested bidders. Subsequently, 45 were shortlisted which was later trimmed down to six.

"Some of the bidders were just time wasters so we had to be careful with the selection process. It’s been a slow grind but it’s a deliberate grind and a responsible one."

He added that the scheme would cost about $4m per kilometre, which would mean a price of $1.3bn for the main line construction work alone, so the tender process would assess the ability of bidders to finance the work.

A railway exists in eastern Ghana, but apart from the stretches between Accra to Nsawam and Accra to Tema, it is inoperative. The reconstruction will include station upgrades and the provision of rolling stock, signalling and communication equipment.

The final six have been sent to a tender review committee for further evaluation.

As well as the Eastern Rail project, the government is working on the reconstruction of the Eastern Railway Line will include financing, development and operation of the 333km western line, some 22km of which will be financed by the government.

Top image: Ghana is relying on PPP schemes to renew its rail network (GRDA)

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