Mombasa-Nairobi Gauge Railway Project: All you need to know
Constructed with financial support from China, Kenya Railways Corporation is behind the construction of the new railway line, connecting Mombasa to Nairobi. The 472km line has created over 20,000 construction roles in the region and will provide a multitude of advantages to the region.
The development of the line will reduce the distance between the two cities to just four hours and has been met with acclaim in the development of infrastructure ties between China and Africa.
On their website, it is stated that “the Standard Gauge Railway project is proposed to connect Mombasa to Malaba on the border with Uganda and continue onward to Kampala, Uganda's capital city. It will further run to Kigali in Rwanda with a branch line to Juba in South Sudan. Branch lines along the route will extend to Kisumu, Kasese and Pakwach.”
“Kenya Railways Corporation is responsible for the construction of the 1,300km-long track inside Kenya from Mombasa to Malaba via Nairobi.”
China Road and Bridge Corporation, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co, are also behind the new development and will construct a number of freight terminals. The project has created over 40,000 construction roles and provided vital skills for approximately 20,000 workers.
The single-track railway incorporates eight underpasses and over 90 bridges, linking with existing networks and will become a new mode of transportation in the movement of both passengers and cargo, reducing time, cost, therefore increasing productivity and efficiency. Freight trains will travel at 80km/h on average, with a capacity of 216 TEUs.
With over 40 stations scheduled to be constructed, passenger trains will hold over 950 passengers, creating an efficient transport system, reducing congestion, increasing tourism and promoting economic growth.
Read the December 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.