German Consortium Set to Win Railway Tender

08 July 2004 Thursday, 22:55
Railway Track

A German consortium is expected to win a deal to build the proposed Sh237 billion railway line linking Kenya and Southern Sudan.

Sources said a report recently presented by the Consortium led by a leading German railway construction firm, Thormaehlen Schweisstechnik AG, to the government in pursuit of concessioning of Kenya and Uganda Railways, has received a warm reception from the Cabinet.

A Chinese firm has also expressed interest in not only the concessioning of Kenya Railways, but also in extending the existing rail network to Juba, in Southern Sudan.

A German entrepreneur and owner of the firm, Klaus Thormaehlen is already in the country and is expected to hold consultations with top government officials and Kenya Railways management.

The discussions will also address the issue of over-hauling of Kenya’s century-old metre gauge rail network to the much more practical standard gauge.

The German consortium has already obtained authorization of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) —which controls emerging democracy in Southern Sudan — to construct railway line linking the country to the rest of the region.

Other members of the Consortium include: Germany’s largest steel manufacturer, Thyssen-Krupp GfT, Pfleiderer, Electro-Thermit, Hans Strube, Shlatter and Pethoplan gmh.

SPLM’s Commissioner for International Co-operation, Costello Garang, confirmed in an interview that the German industrialist has obtained the blessings of the government of Southern Sudan to construct its railway system.

He said in the event that the consortium wins the concession, the German industrialist estimates the construction of the ambitious 2,500 km railway line linking Kenya to Juba in Southern Sudan, would be completed in four years.

Garang said the transhipment point of the proposed railway line would no longer be at the western Kenya town of Kitale, but changed to Rongai town in Nakuru District.

He said choice of the new location was determined following a feasibility study conducted by a team of German experts who visited Kenya in May this year.

Source : ST

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