Ghana and Amandi Holdings Limited have signed a US$560 million agreement for the construction of sections of the Western Railway Line (Standard Gauge Line) between Takoradi Harbour and the Huni Valley.
The signing ceremony, which took place in Accra on Wednesday in the presence of Mr Joe Ghartey, the Minister of Railway Development; had Mr Richard Diegong Dombo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) initialing for Government while Mr Nadav Simhoni, Managing Director, Amandi Holdings Ltd signed for his company.
The signing of the agreement would be followed by Cabinet’s approval for it to be taken to Parliament.
The Project, which is the biggest single railway contract ever in the history of Ghana, would take 42 months to complete from the date of commencement (October 2020).
It consists of the construction of the Western Railway Line, Standard Gauge, between Takoradi Port and Huni Valley forming a total of 102km of continuous single track railway line, with stations along the tracks, an initial workshop facility at a location to be specified by the Employer, and an initial complement of rolling stock.
Mr Ghartey said the indicative scope of works of the project includes the construction, provision, testing and commissioning of other works; such as the construction of approximately eight kilometres of standard gauge railway tracks connecting the existing dual gauge tracks in Takoradi to the Takoradi Port for easy and efficient access for cargo handling.
He mentioned the conversion of 10.6km dual gauge tracks between Takoradi to Kojokrom from narrow gauge to standard gauge; adding that “This shall include conversion works and materials involved and supply of 10 new standard gauge turnouts”.
He said it would also include the construction of a by-pass section along the Kojokrom to Manso section of the Western Railway Line at Eshiem, to enhance the speed of the final infrastructure and meet the requirement and specification in the reviewed 2020 Railway Master Plan.
Mr Ghartey said the construction of the Railway Line from Manso to Huni Valley approximately 60km of single track lines, and in addition the construction of eight basic stations along the existing line from Amantin to Huni Valley including all construction works, station building, access roads, CCTV and access control, backup generator and water tanks.
He said it also included 10km of loop lines and stations’ double lines to improve availability of line for express trains.
The Minister said the project would also embrace the construction of a workshop facility for standard gauge rolling stock including the basic fit-out, basic tools and essential machine.
Others are supply of rolling stock including two 3,500HP cargo locomotives, and 64 mineral wagons to support the initial operations of the new standard gauge infrastructure and supply of standard gauge track maintenance equipment.
The rest are initial setup of signaling and telecommunication pending final decision and design by the Employer of the relevant technology used in the Ghana Railway Network.
Mr Ghartey said a provisional amount has been earmarked for the Employer’s and Engineer’s Cost and supervision facilities, including land acquisition and payment for affected people, payable by the Employer.
The Minister recounted that from 2012 to 2017 a narrow gauge line was constructed from Sekondi to Takoradi; stating that the total length of the line is approximately 15km and that the stretch from Kojokrom to Takoradi Station is approximately 10km.
He said this is a narrow gauge line, therefore, even though its construction commenced in 2012 and was completed in 2017, barely three years ago, they have to convert it to standard gauge in line with the policy that all new constructions of railway would be standard gauge.
He said the conversion of Kojokrom to Takoradi Station section of the line would be converted under this contract.
“This is because the 2012 contract did not include the Takoradi Port. The Takoradi Station is outside the Takoradi Port. Under this contract eight kilometres of rail line within the Takoradi Port will be constructed,” Mr Ghartey said.
“I am also cited that this contract includes the construction of a workshop facility for standard gauge rolling stock. It also includes the supply of some rolling stock”, he said.