Less than 1% of the planned 2300 km train projects completed – GK

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Four and half years ago, the ruling party EPRDF unveiled , the then impressive 5 year Grand Transformation Plan. In this plan, in 5 corridors, as phase 1, five big railway projects were listed and authorities promised they would deliver by June 2015. To alleviate public transportation in Ababa Ababa, a light railway project was later added as well.

On its official website, “The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has planned to implement several mega projects during the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) between 2010/11-2014/15. Construction of about 2000km of standard gauge railway infrastructure is planned to be undertaken. Besides, rail transport service will commence on the completed sections of the rail” stated the Ethiopian Railway Corporation.

Let alone to complete the projects on time, per the government own admission, four out of six projects have not started. The government claims that 40% of the Addis Ababa – Djibouty project and 70% of the Addis Ababa light railway project are completed. However, the often Eprdf sympathetic Ethiopian reporter, quoting its sources, reported that only 40% of the Addis Ababa light railway project has been completed.

Assuming the government claims of 40% completion of the Addis- Djibouty project ( 40% of 677 km ) and 70% of Addis Ababa light railway project ( 70% of 37 km) to be true, only 12% (295 km) of the planned and promised 2300 km lines would have been completed.If we believe Aregawi Berhe’s Ethiopian Reporter’s sources, one can easily conclude that what has been built so far, is less than 1%.

The government may have its own excuses. It often blames others. However, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to find out that these failures are due mainly to bad governance, incompetence, lack of accountability and transparency, failure of public disclosure and yes, out of control corruption. Has anyone been fired for this blunder? Was Ato Workneh Gebeyehu the minister of Transport shown the exit door? Has the regime tried to change its modus operandi to change course and improve performances? Has it tried to improve the atmosphere of dialog, and trust with Ethiopians, mainly those in the Diaspora that could have helped in covering some of the finances? The answer to all these questions is a big NO.

Please refer below for some basic information. Read and judge for yourself.

1. Addis Ababa –Djibouti Railway Project (657 km)

It involves two segments:
– The first segment is the 317km segment of the existing main-line from Sebeta (just west of Addis Ababa) to Meiso. The China Railway Euryan Engineering Group (CREEG) has won the the contract worth around $US 1.2b. ( $3.5 millions per kilometer)
– The second segment is the 340km segment from Meiso through Dire Dawa to Dewale, on the border with Djibouti. Another chineeze company, The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) got the contract worth around $US 1.1bN. ( $3.2 millions per kilometer)
– For the 657km project, the Chinese Export Import (EXIM) Bank has provided the majority of the USD 2.3 billion needed. Around 30 to 40% are covered by the Ethiopian government.
– The Ethiopian government claims that 40 percent of the Addis Ababa-Meiso-Dewele railway line is completed; however Reporter quoting its sources reported that only 40 percent of the work on the Addis Ababa light railway project was done so far.

2. Mekele – Weldya – Semera-Tadjourah Port Railway Project (676 km)

It involves two segments:
– The first segment is 268.2km segment from Mekele to Weldya. A third Chinese company, the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) was awarded a contract worth of $1.5 Billion. ( $55 millions per kilometer)
– According to ERC, the Mekele to Weldya agreement includes an engineering, procurement and construction contract covering 29 large bridges and 19km of tunnelling work.
– The estimated USD 1.5 billion, is expected to be financed by the Chinese EXIM bank.
– The second segment is the 407 km segment from Weldiya to Tadjoura. The Indian EXIM Bank has also pledged USD 300 million but so for no concrete financing is available and no contract awarded.
– Work has not started yet.

3. Awash- Kombolcha-Hara Gebeya Railway Project ( 389 km)

– This involves the 389 km lines from Awash to Weldiya. The Turkish company Yapi Merkezi was awared the contrat worh iof $1.7 Billion. ( $5 Millions per kilometer)
– Swiss bank approved $865 Millions loan for this project.
– The remaining balance ( $1.4 Billions) were supposed to be financed by Swiss Bank. However, Credit Suisse, a syndicate of banks and Export Credit Agencies, has delayed a USD 1.4 billion loan, which it has agreed to extend to the Government of Ethiopia for the financing of the Awash-Woldiya railway project, due to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report, as reported by Ethiopian Reporter.
– No work has started

4. A.A–Ijaji-Jimma-Dima Including Jimma-Bedele Railway Project(496 km)
– No contrat awarded; no financing secured and no work started.

5. Mojo-Shashemene-Arbaminich-Weyto Railway Project
– No contrat awarded; no financing secured and no work started.

6. Addis Ababa light railways (37.4 km)

– The 37.4km light rail network contract worth of $400 Million was awarded to China Railway Group Limited (CREG), which is 60% financed by the Chinese EXIM Bank. The remaining 40% are covered by the Ethiopian government.
– The Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) was charged with supplying the tracks and the trains to transport passengers.
– The Ethiopian government claims that 70 percent of the Addis Ababa light railway project is completed; however Reporter quoting its sources reported that only 40 percent of the work was done so far.

References:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201406301348.html

http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/index.php/news-headlines/item/2599-credit-suisse-delays-usd-14-bln-loan-for-railway-project

http://www.erc.gov.et/

http://www.railway-technology.com/news/newsethiopian-signs-15bn-rail-deal-chinas-cccc

Sourced here  http://satenaw.com/less-1-planned-2300-km-train-projects-completed-gk/

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