The Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey says the government is hopeful of signing a contractual agreement with a strategic investor for the construction of the 1,200km Kumasi-Paga-Ouagadougou railway line in September 2020.
According to him, the procurement process for selecting an investor for the Build-Operate-Transfer project had commenced with three firms shortlisted awaiting the acceptance of the final feasibility report before awarding the contract.
The firms are; African Global Development Sarl, China Railway No.10 Engineering Group Co. Ltd and Frontline Capital Advisors which had its operating license as a fund management company withdrawn by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Speaking at a press briefing in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Joe Ghartey, said, the two countries are committed to working in synergy with the transaction advisors to get a concessioner for the project.
“We have finished the request for qualification stage and we have shortlisted three firms but before we can release final process of the procurement procedure we must accept the final feasibility report which will state the cost of the project and define the module and the concession period.”
“We envisage that within three weeks when we meet in Burkina Faso, by April we will come out with a final document that we will all take to our host countries for their approval base on their advice.”
“It is our view that if we work very hard, in September we will be able to reach a situation where we will be signing an agreement with the concessioner and that is what we are working towards. When we are choosing the concessioner, one of the things we want to insist on is that the concessioner should have the capacity to start in Ghana and Burkina Faso at the same time.”
“We want to choose a concessioner who can at least start two fronts in Ghana maybe Tamale and Juapong and at the same time start in Burkina Faso. So, all that will influence our choice of concessioner and we don’t want to disclose the cost of the project now. If we say the cost and it comes out as a different figure it will be seen as misleading the public but we shall disclose the cost of the project after the feasibility report had been accepted by both countries,” he said.
The 1,200km line which will go through Hohoe, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Paga, Po, Zabre, Tenkodogo and Manga will end at Ouagadougou.
However, the ongoing construction of the Tema-Mpakadan alignment route is expected to be completed by August 2020.
The project when completed will facilitate transportation of agricultural goods, construction materials, manufactured goods, petroleum products, containerized cargo and passengers.
The railway line will also have huge economic potential following the discovery, in commercial quantities, of mineral resources like iron ore, bauxite and manages.