ICBC to fund Eastern Rail lines project in Ghana

22 May 2012 (Last Updated May 22nd, 2012 18:30)

The Ghanaian government is expecting to secure $990m funding from the Investment and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for repair works on the Eastern Rail lines, which include sections between Nsawam to Accra and Achimota to Tema.

The Ghanaian government is expecting to secure $990m funding from the Investment and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for repair works on the Eastern Rail lines, which include sections between Nsawam to Accra and Achimota to Tema.

China’s Exim Bank is also expected to provide another $1.95bn for reconstruction works on the Nsawam to Kumasi rail lines.

Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) acting chief executive officer Emmanuel Opoku told the Ghana News Agency that $500m would be taken from the $3bn Chinese loan facility for rehabilitation works on the Western Rail line.

"Currently, all three rail lines, including the western, central and eastern, are not in good shape due to bad tracks," Opoku said.

"Rehabilitation works would include mainly the tracks, bridges, signals and telecommunication systems."

Under the repair works, GRDA will upgrade all the gauges, from 10.67mm to 14.35mm, to enable it to connect Ghana to other Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) countries.

According to GRDA, the construction of the standard gauge rail tracks will enable the country to increase the speed of the trains from 57km/h to about 180km/h.

"Rehabilitation works would include mainly the tracks, bridges, signals and telecommunication systems."

In addition, the government is also planning to extend the railway service to the northern sector and the Volta region, as the country’s rail services are currently being used only by the southern sector.

"The Authority had taken into consideration issues raised by the disability associations on the need for them to import coaches, which were disability-friendly, and would work to ensure that all rehabilitation works on importation of new coaches were to their assertion."

The project is also expected to reduce traffic on the roads, as well as provide a safer means of transportation.

In March 2012, the government had secured a loan of $600m from US-based Conti Engineering and General Electric for the rehabilitation of the Western rail lines and repairs of Accra’s drainage systems.

According to GRDA, about $200m of the total fund, will be used for the repair of the Western rail project.