Government has signed a contractual agreement worth $3.2 billion with Thelo DB of South African and Transtech Consult Limited of Ghana to upgrade the rail infrastructure from Huni Valley to Dunkwa through Awaso and Nyinahin to Eduadin on the Western Railway Line, to facilitate the efficient freight haulage.
The move when successfully completed will be one of the largest investments for the implementation of the country’s Railway Master Plan, and is expected to ease transportation on the major roads while increasing the haulage of Manganese and Bauxite.
Speaking at a short ceremony to sign the agreement, the Hon. Minister for Railway Development, John - Peter Amewu, noted that the project is critical to the growth of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the haulage of manganese annually is estimated at seven (7) million metric tonnes and that of bauxite is fifteen (15) million metric tonnes.
He expressed worry that the neglect of the Western Railway Line and for that matter, most of the rail lines in the country have led to the deterioration of many roads due to frequent haulage of natural resources and other bulk commodities on the roads. According to the Minister, the success of the integrated aluminum bauxite industry that is being promoted by Government depends on efficient rail transportation.
Hon. Amewu indicated that under the agreement, the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) will act as the Rail Operator while Thelo DB Consortium will be Rail Manager.
On his part, the Chairman for Thelo DB Consortium, Ronnie Ntuli stated that the project is essential to Africa’s development, as connecting rail is a means of connecting Africa. He assured Government that the project will help reduce transport cost and ensure safety of operation.
As part of the project, Mr. Ntuli said they will empower Ghanaian youth through skills development in order to promote knowledge transfer while ensuring an upgrade in the rail transport system.
He affirmed the Consortium’s commitment to stick to the agreement for the transformation of Ghana’s rail system into a modern one.
The Board Chairman of the Ghana Railway Company Limited, Dr. Daniel Kwame Adzogble, the Chief Executive Officer of GRCL Ing. Dr Michael Anyetei and the General Secretary of the Railway Workers Union Mr. Godwill Ntarmah pledged their maximum support of the company to see to it that the Consortium works to the desired expectation.