More dots of the Northern Corridor Infrastructure Projects protocol are being knotted, with Uganda seeking to close the financing negotiations with China, senior officials of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) here said.
The latest information shows that Uganda is now finalizing pre-construction works of the rail network that is expected to link at least four countries of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan
Mr. David Mihigo, an SGR Uganda communications officer told TheUgandan in an interview that as compensation of affected people from Tororo to Kampala continues, the Exim Bank of China has started the appraisal of the most expensive project in Uganda’s history.
“So far we are on track. And we are delighted to inform Ugandans that two days ago, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Finance met the Chinese Exim Bank appraisal consultants for the $2.3b financing of the Eastern route SGR project,” Mr. Mihigo said.
“We are seeking to close the financing negotiations as we finalize pre-construction works,” he added.
According to the SGR, the Appraisal team currently visiting the SGR Eastern Route (Malaba-Kampala) is assessing the engineering, technical, economic and financial readiness of the project.
The Eastern route including kilometre 00 (the starting point of the SGR), the super bridge in Jinja, Kampala East station in Namanve, swamp bridges, Tororo station and the Access Road Flyover.
“So far we are on track. Once the report is submitted to Exim then we can proceed to conclude the financing and start construction of the railway,” said Eng Kasingye Kyamugambi, the SGR coordinator in Uganda.
The consulting firm, the Fourth Railway Survey & Design Institute, a Fortune 500 listed company, will in the next three weeks engage Uganda’s SGR technical team, Finance and Works officials to review the entire project.
The $3.44b Mombasa to Nairobi section of the SGR was commissioned in June by President Uhuru Kenyatta
The Ugandan government has insisted that the SGR is one of the projects that will lead Uganda to eventual industrialisation once completed.