China Exim Bank of­fi­cials visit Uganda to ap­praise SGR pro­ject

IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE Fi­nance min­istry man­dated to lead ne­go­ti­a­tions for the Sh236 bil­lion ven­ture

Business Daily (Kenya) - - REGIONAL BUSINESS - BD Cor­re­spon­dent in Kam­pala

The Exim Bank of China has started the ap­praisal of the Stan­dard Gauge Rail­way (SGR) pro­ject.

On Mon­day, a top of­fi­cial in the Min­istry of Fi­nance met the bank’s con­sul­tants in his of­fice since the min­istry is lead­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions for the Sh236 bil­lion ($2.3bn) fi­nanc­ing of the East­ern route SGR pro­ject.

“As far as Gov­ern­ment of Uganda is con­cerned, this is the num­ber one pri­or­ity pro­ject, we want to move it for­ward,” said Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Fi­nance min­istry Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary and Sec­re­tary to the Trea­sury.

The con­sult­ing firm, 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 min­istry of­fi­cials to re­view the en­tire pro­ject.

“They are here to look at the tech­ni­cal, fi­nan­cial and the eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity, this is a rou­tine pro­ce­dure car­ried out by all fi­nanciers es­pe­cially for mega in­fra­struc­ture projects,” said Mr Kas­ingye Kya­mugambi, the SGR pro­ject co­or­di­na­tor. The ap­praisal team will visit the field for one week. It also held dis­cus­sions with the Works min­istry Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Mr Bageya Wasswa. The team of con­sul­tants will eval­u­ate whether the pro­ject as de­signed is eco­nom­i­cally vi­able, whether all the en­gi­neer­ing has been well done and whether the risks both tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial have been taken care of.

The team com­prises four en­gi­neers and two econ­o­mists, geotech­ni­cians and align­ment ex­perts, among oth­ers.

“It is a great step and we will be work­ing with them,” said Mr Kya­mugambi.

The con­sul­tants, hired by Exim Bank, will visit key con­struc­tion points along the route. Sev­eral de­sign rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and har­mon­i­sa­tion projects have ei­ther been com­pleted or are on­go­ing, among them the in­ter­sec­tion at Ac­cess Road, the me­ter gauge rail­way and the stan­dard gauge rail­way.

Af­ter dis­cus­sions with the stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing Kam­pala Cap­i­tal City Author­ity and Uganda Na­tional Roads Author­ity, the fly­over was el­e­vated higher and the SGR will have a sep­a­rate grade cross­ing.

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