, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat says Kenyans are set to enjoy considerable cost savings in the next three to five years, once the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway – one of the most important vision 2030 projects – is completed.
According to the Secretariat’s acting Director General Wainaina Gituro, the scheduled construction of the Sh1.2 trillion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project will herald a major economic transformation arising from an expected slashing of commodity prices.
Gituro noted that basic commodity prices that have remained high are expected to drastically drop by 2017 when the new line is commissioned.
“The new SGR line, which is a Vision 2030 Flagship project to be implemented by the Kenya Railways Corporation, will typically present an opportunity for the railways operator to run freight trains with 54 double stack flat wagons carrying 216 TEUs per trip,” he said.
He reiterated that the government has already lined up funding for the project with a Sh22 billion allocation in the current national budget.
He stated that further budget resources, will be raised through the Railway development fund levy and a US$ 3.3 billion loan from the EXIM Bank of China covering more than 85% of the total project costs.
Ahead of the SGR line construction groundbreaking ceremony, Gituro confirmed that Kenya Railways had completed the project Feasibility studies and preliminary designs.
He said that Kenya Railways has also signed two commercial contracts for the delivery of the civil works (US$ 2.6 billion) and supply, installation/commissioning of facilities, locomotives and rolling stock (US$ 1.146 billion).
“At the Vision Delivery Secretariat, we are glad that this project is now taking off as it provides the country with enormous economic development benefits once completed in the next five years,” he said.
Ahead of a ground breaking session later this week and which will also be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta, among other regional heads of States, Kenya will be taking the lead to confirm its commitment to operationalise the “tripartite agreement” signed by the Governments of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in Mombasa last August.
The tripartite agreement committed the three states to explore avenues to build a Standard Gauge Railway connecting Mombasa to Kampala and on to Kigali.
In recent days, Burundi and South Sudan have also expressed their interest to be part of the project.