Government is set to begin the construction of a 78 kilometer section of the Western Railway Line from Manso to Huni Valley. The contractor for the project, Messrs Amandi Investment Limited has currently moved to site to commence the project.
The Minister for Railway Development, Hon. John - Peter Amewu said government has secured a loan facility estimated at €500 million from the Deustche Bank for the development of the project. He said that an initial advance of €68 million has been paid to the contractor as mobilization to ensure the construction of a new standard gauge starts by January 2022.
Hon. Amewu made these comments when he took his turn at the Minister’s Press Briefing held on Wednesday 1st December 2021 at the Ministry of Information Press Centre to update the media and Ghanaians on the status of development projects in the Railway Sector.
Touching on progress of ongoing construction works, the Railway Minister indicated the construction of the 22 km Kojokrom to Manso section of the Western Line which commenced in 2018 is currently 72 percent complete. The project is expected to be fully completed and handed over by the contractor, Messrs Amandi Holding Limited in the second quarter of 2022.
He noted that the Ministry was also going through the requisite approval processes to effect a contract with Messrs KEC to utilize an Indian Exim Bank facility for the development of a standard gauge line from Accra to Nsawam through Achimota and Kotoku. This, he indicated, will mark the first phase of the development of the Eastern Railway Line on standard gauge.
The Hon. Minister mentioned that test runs have commenced towards the resumption of passenger rail services from Accra to Tema and also from Accra to Nsawam. He recalled that the services were suspended in April, 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the suspension of passenger rail services across the country.
As part of efforts being made to address perennial flooding in some areas in the Greater Accra Region, the Minister said the Ministry took advantage of the suspended rail services and collaborated with the Hydrology Services Department to construct a concrete culvert across the rail track at Avenor near the Kwame Nkrumah interchange, adding that similar works had been undertaken at Taifa by the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL).
Hon. Amewu stated that the Ministry had also collaborated with the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, to upgrade the Railway Training School into a Degree awarding institution. The school has provided training for 300 youthful Ghanaians since January 2021 in various engineering degree programmes.
He said government’s vision is to upgrade the old Railway Workshop Complex at Sekondi so it serves as a one stop workshop for the railway, mining, petroleum, agricultural and other ancillary industries in Ghana. Hon. Amewu called on all stakeholders and well-meaning Ghanaians to come on board and continue to support Government to achieve the vision of developing a modern railway system; a legacy the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo intends to leave before the end of his tenure.