Gov’t to single source Nairobi-Naivasha SGR supervisor

The Kenya Railways Corporation is set to single source a consultant to oversee the construction of the Nairobi-Naivasha standard gauge railway line.

In a notice in the dailies, Kenya Railways says the supervisor will oversee the construction of the 120 kilometer railway line being constructed by Chinese firm China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

According to the state corporation, the project is an extension of the 472 kilometer Mombasa-Nairobi SGR line, hence no need to standardize the equipment, technology and services provided in the first phase.

“Phase 2A Nairobi- Naivasha SGR, is a natural continuation of the Mombasa- Nairobi SGR as it is being constructed to the same standards of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR,” Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina said in the notice.

The standard gauge railway project has been shrouded in controversy especially in the way tenders are awarded. In May, the government announced that it would be also tasking China Communication and Construction Company (CCCC), a firm associated with CRBC to operate the SGR line for a five year period. The government has argued that with the Chinese government financing a bulk of the project, one of the conditions was to single source contractors.

Construction of the Nairobi-Naivasha line is expected to commence no later than October and is set to cost Sh150 billion.

“The GOK and EXIM bank of china have signed a financing agreement for a commercial loan of $1.5 billion to support the development,” the notice reads.

The loan covers 85 percent of the project with the government raising the remaining 15 percent through the railway development levy. The extension of the railway line to Naivasha is expected to take advantage of the planned industrial park

Power generator, KenGen, is in the process of constructing an industrial park in the geothermal rich Naivasha to attract industries to set up manufacturing plants that take advantage of the cheap source of energy.

Work on the Mombasa-Nairobi line is expected to be complete by the end of the year and will be commissioned by June 2017. Kenya Railways has already ordered for 56 trains to operate on the line, with 43 of them dedicated to cargo movement.

The state corporation has also ordered for 1,620 freight wagons expected to be delivered by December.


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