, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Construction of Civil Works of the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway is about 98 percent complete with entire track from Mombasa to Nairobi already laid.
Kenya Railways Corporation (KR) Managing Director Atanus Maina said they are doing finishing works with test runs expected to start in January.
“Locomotives, freight wagons and coaches on order from China will start arriving in January 2017,” he said.
Commissioning of the project is set for June 2017 and commercial operations will begin from January 2018.
He says procurement of the operator is in progress.
The Mombasa-Nairobi phase of the project is estimated to cost Sh327 billion ($3.8 billion).
China Exim Bank has provided 90 percent of the financing while the remaining 10 percent is by the government.
The project is part of the promises made by the Jubilee Government when they took power in 2013.
In March 2016, Kenya and the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) signed an agreement for the construction of the Naivasha-Malaba Standard Gauge Railway line under the Kenya SGR Developments Project valued at Sh549 billion.
The move came after the Cabinet approved signing of the commercial contracts between Kenya Railways and China Communications Construction Company.
The four commercial contracts for the development of the four elements of the project include Naivasha- Kisumu, Kisumu-Malaba, Kisumu Port Development and Modernization and expansion of the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi in Nairobi.
The government has secured a loan from the Government of the Peoples Republic of China to support the development of Phase 2A, (Nairobi to Naivasha).
The total contract price for this section is $1.5 billion (Sh150 billion).