rail network

According to the President, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo; the government of Ghana will spend at least $US 12.9billion on an ongoing and approved rail network.

The government says the city’s economic progress and rapid urbanisation have led to traffic congestion which prevents growth. Therefore, since the country’s railway infrastructure has seen little development since its independence, revamping the country’s railway network is a priority.

The Ministry of Railway Development is in charge of carrying out this mandate. The railway networks have been left unattended to for a long time. As such they have deteriorated to the point that a majority of the 940 kilometers of narrow-gauge rail is out of service.

The first project, is currently at the feasibility stage. This is the development of a light rail transit (LRT) network. It comprises seven corridors in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. Kumasi is a converging point of commercial activity and a key transport hub.

The 672km Central Spine line, also currently at the feasibility stage, will run from the centre of Kumasi via Mankranso, Bechem, Sunyani, Techiman, Kintampo, Buipe, Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, and Navrongo to Paga, near the Burkina Faso border. Construction of this project is expected to start in 2023 and open in 2029.

Also, the project will be implemented through a Public-Private partnerships (PPP) or a build, operate, transfer (BOT) contract, with a 30-year concession and will be funded through a combination of debt and equity. The line will have a $US 945m net present value (NPV) at an 8% interest rate, a 9.45% financial internal rate of return (FIRR) , and a 13.2% Expected Internal Rate of Return (EIRR) until 2055.

In addition, the funding brochure also includes 14 projects at an early stage, including the Trans-Ecowas railway which is at the pre-feasibility stage. The proposed 550km east-west, mixed-traffic line will run from Aflao on the Togo border to Elubo on the border with Côte d’Ivoire with a branch line to Keta.

The funding for this project will also cover the development of standard-gauge railway (SGR) freight line from Takoradi station to Takoradi Port. The project will be implemented under a 30-year concession, with a net present value (NPV) of $US 404m, a financial internal rate of return (FIRR) of 15.6%, and a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 1.12.

The government says the project promises to bring tremendous socio-economic benefits to Ghana and ease the traffic situation in the country too.

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