SGR construction to end in Naivasha as China loan bid flops
The Government has made a surprise admission that the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will actually end in Naivasha from where the old railway will continue to be used to Kisumu.
According to Transport CS James Macharia, the SGR will be joined to the old meter gauge railway in Naivasha to speed up the resumption of transport services to kisumu.
He revealed this during an interview with Kenya’s national broadcaster KBC on Friday.
This comes hours after news emerged that Kenya’s hopes of getting another SGR loan from China had not succeeded.
It was ODM leader and AU High Representative for Infrastructure Raila Odinga who first hinted to part of the agenda of the trip to China; to seek a loan of Ksh.368billion for the SGR Phase 2b.
“… we’re going to China with President Uhuru to negotiate SGR construction deals..from next year the SGR will continue from Naivasha to Narok, Nyamira, Sondu and finally Kisumu port,” he said in Kisumu a week ago.
However, there was no word from the Kenya – China talks on the Naivasha – Kisumu SGR extension.
Instead, Kenya signed an operation and maintenance service agreement for the Nairobi to Naivasha segment of the SGR.
“.. the most important investment right now is to connect the SGR to Naivasha MGR so that come August there will be seamless connectivity,” CS Macharia said, the government choosing to hold its head high despite not achieving the much sought after Ksh.368billion.
“…it is not actually change of plan the issue is you have to prioritise given your immediate requirement, given what is important is creating a transitional point from Naivasha … what we have done is look at the logistics of connectivity initially connecting meter gauge with SGR because even if you started construction today from Naivasha to Kisumu it would take 4 years and we don’t want goods to take that long to get to Kisumu,” he added.
Kenya and China however signed two project delivery agreements totalling to Ksh.68billion through concessional financing and public private partnership.
Konza Data Centre and Smart Cities Project are to be undertaken by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei at a cost of Ksh.17.5billion.
The construction of the expressway from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to James Gichuru is to be handled on a PPP arrangement by the China Road and Bridge Corporation for Ksh.51billion.
President Kenyatta said the government has now adopted a comprehensive policy to guide investment procedures and processes, both at national and county levels.
“We have also established a one-stop centre to facilitate ease of doing business including establishing and automating service delivery through innovative business platforms such as Huduma Namba, e-citizen, e-regulations, i-Tax, single window electronic clearing system and land registry,” he added.
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