Business News of Thursday, 17 May 2018
Per a policy direction taken by the Ministry for Railway Development, rail transportation would mainly concentrate on economic activities and extractive areas along the Western Rail lines, Sector Minister Joe Ghartey has disclosed.
The Ghana Railways Development Authority have been advised by the policy direction of the Ministry, in this regard, he said.
In his address during the signing of and MoU last Tuesday, between the ministry and the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Hon. Ghartey indicated the Shama Free Zones enclave and the Oppon Manso iron ore deposit is being considered for an extension of the rail, within the Western Rail line.
He adds that Western Rail line would also be extended from Awaso to Nyinahin, purposely to transport cocoa from the Western north and western part of Ashanti and southern part of the Brong Ahafo Regions, as well as haul rich bauxite mined at Nyinahin.
Hon. Ghartey maintains that some remarkable successes have been chalked by the Railways Company Limited in rehabilitating the Western Line that span from Kojokrom and Tarkwa. He mentions incidence of derailment has significantly decreased.
“On the Western Line, the rehabilitation exercise undertaken by workers of the Ghana Railways Company Limited, between the Kojokrom and Tarkwa has yielded two results. It has led to a remarkable decrease of incidents of derailments on the line. It also enabled a locomotive to reach Tarkwa in November 2017. Since then there has been a test run of the passenger train to Tarkwa and also to Manso. The ballast train was at Tarkwa last week and I had the opportunity to ride on the train to Nsuta. Indeed we are considering continuing the rehabilitation of the Western Line by GRCL to Huni Valley and beyond”, he narrated.
He disclosed that some audit of the Western Line would be undertaken by Messrs Holtrade, next week. He revealed some contracts have been awarded for the construction a new rail line from Kojokrom, and from Essiam to Manso, with which the ministry is awaiting approval from the Public Procurement Authority.
“A British railways consultancy, Messers Holtrade, will commence an audit of what has been done by Ghana Railways Company Limited next week. On the same Western Line, I am happy to report the Messers Amandi Holdings Limited have commenced the construction of a new Line from Kojokrom. They have been awarded a contract to Essiam and another contract from Essaim to Manso, which the Ministry id working to recieve the conditions precedent, which includes approval from the Public Procurement Authority”
“We are in the last stages of negotiations with foreign investors who are interested in completing the new line from Manso to Kumasi and Awaso and hopefully to Nyinahin. The final designs of the Western Line are being undertaken by Messers Team International, a consultancy firm from Italy. And as I speak, they have completed 75% of the area line”, Hon. Ghartey clarified.