Citadel firm completes $20m rail track in Kenya
Cairo, July 10, 2013
Rift Valley Railways (RVR), a platform company of top investment firm Citadel Capital, and the operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway, has completed building 73 km of new railway track between Mombasa and Nairobi costing $20 million.
The project has reduced cargo delivery time between Mombasa and Nairobi by six hours through rebuilding the most badly rundown sections, which were responsible for 60 per cent of blockage time on the rail line, said RVR executive vice chairman Brown Ondego.
“RVR’s investment in building this new stretch of railroad is a significant milestone as this railway line had been ailing for lack of investment for over a decade prior to the concession,” he added.
Construction of the new railway line included the laying of 10,000 sleepers (railway ties) to retain track geometry and improve safety. The upgrade is part of a larger track modernization program that will see the rebuilding of over 360 km of the most affected sections of the railroad in both Kenya and Uganda.
“The completion of this project under our continuing track upgrade program has considerably improved the reliability and efficiency of our operations. We are now operating larger-capacity trains and, as a result, have improved our loading capacity and reduced travel hours,” Ondego added.
The 10-month reconstruction project awarded contracts worth more than $ 5.3 million to Kenyan contractors and suppliers and paid $0.34 million in wages to workers recruited from SMEs under a partnership programme with communities living along the railway line.
Steve Felder, managing director of Maersk shipping agency, said: “As a shipping line we very much welcome this development as we are convinced that it will effectively improve the safe and reliable transport of our customer’s cargo and create more demand for rail transport between Mombasa and Nairobi.”
Ondego said RVR is on course with significant investments to introduce innovations in operations and modernize infrastructure both in Kenya and Uganda in order to ensure a dependable and well-functioning railway that can spur growth and regional economic integration throughout East Africa.
He said improved reliability has been one of the immediate benefits and the number of incidents declined a full 20 per cent last month. – TradeArabia News Service
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