Rwanda takes control over Tanzania-Burundi railway

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Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame during the 10th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit- Kampala, 5 June 2015

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame during the 10th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit- Kampala, 5 June 2015

One of the East Africa’s community countries ‘Rwanda’ has expressed great Interests in a contract to finance, design, build, operate and maintain a 1661 km railway linking the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with Burundi.

Rwanda has proved to highly support the business Idea and the contract than the two other project partners; Tanzania and Burundi.

The Procurement is being led by the Rwanda Transport Development agency on behalf of the three countries, which have appointed CPCS of Canada for an advice on the contract structure and the selection of private-sector partners.

Two PPP contract models are being considered: a turnkey build-operate-transfer concession, or the award of separate construction and operations & maintenance contracts which may enable the states to source financing at lower cost.

The DIKKM railway as it is known from the initials of the main places to be served, the railway would largely follow the alignment of the existing metre gauge line for the 970 km from Dar es Salaam to Isaka, (Kahama District of the Tanzania’s Shinyanga Region) replacing the current line without disrupting its operations during construction.

From Isaka the DIKKM railway would follow a 494 km Greenfield alignment to Kigali in Rwanda, with a 197 km branch from Keza to Musongati in Burundi.

A feasibility study for the project was completed by Canarail and Gibb Africa last year, building on work previously undertaken by BNSF and DB International. This recommended that the line be developed through single joint infrastructure company and regulated by a joint agency.

The railway (DIKKM) would be suitable for heavy freight trains with 32·5 tonne axleloads; up to 2 000 m long and would be built to 1 435 mm gauge, in line with East African Community and African Union policies for new lines in the region.

Three traffic estimates have been produced, with the ‘low growth’ case predicting 8·5 mtpa in 2029, the ‘likely achievable’ case 12·9 mpta and the ‘optimistic’ case based on future mineral traffic 24·7 mtpa. Freight services are expected to be profitable, but it is anticipated that passenger services would be supported through public service obligation payments.

The Submission of the interest expressions should be done by August 14, whereas the prequalified parties would be invited to prepare bids in detail.

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About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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