SGR contractors commit Sh1b to train railway engineers
Two Chinese contractors working on the standard gauge railway(SGR) have committed Sh1 billion to set up a modern railway training institute.
The China Road and Bridges Corporations (CRBC) and China Communications and Construction Company (CCC)will invest the money in upgrading the 60 year old Railway Training Institute (RTI) and establish an engineering school specializing in standard gauge railway operations.
Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina says the government has committed a further one billion shillings to up the skills of railway engineers ahead of commissioning the standard gauge railway in 2017.
“In terms of repositioning RTI as the center of excellence in railway training for the region the government on its side has committed Sh1 billion together with the support from our partners we have Sh2 billion that will make it possible for the next 24 to 36 months to have a new institute that aims to be the center for excellence for railway training in Africa,” Mr Maina said.
The government had challenged the contractors of the Sh327 billion project to ensure there was knowledge and skills transfer in an effort of promoting job creation.
The SGR is a flagship project under the Kenya Vision 2030 development agenda and is meant for passengers and cargo transportation between Mombasa and Nairobi.
The ministry of transport and infrastructure has already given CRBC a 10 year concession to operate the SGR line once complete as part of the loan agreements by the Chinese government.
Mr Maina however said local engineers would build up their technical skills to ensure there is smooth handover of the line once the contractual period lapses.
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