85km Tema-Akosombo railway line to begin December
The construction of an 85km railway line from the Tema Port to Akosombo and connecting to the Volta Lake is due to begin next month.
A 398 million dollar agreement between the government of Ghana and the Indian EXIMBANK has been signed to this effect.
The Deputy Finance, Minister Mrs. Mona Quartey, who signed on behalf of the government of Ghana, said the project will boost trade on that corridor because it will transport containers and cargo from Tema port to northern Ghana and other landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Mrs. Quartey said the agreements marked another milestone in the process that would lead to a significant improvement in the transport sector, especially the link between Tema port to the Lake Transport Network as well as provide enough raw material for the sugar factory at Komenda.
The railway line project involves design and construction of 84.8 kilometer of a standard gauge railway line from the Tema Port to the Akosombo, including four railway stations and design and construction of railway terminals at Tema and Akosombo, including the provision of operational facilities and loading equipment.
Mrs. Quartey said the implementation of the project will link the Tema port to the lake transport network, especially the North-South movement over a distance of about 400 kilometres and open up the lake to the transportation of not only fuel and cement but also transit containerised cargo and agricultural produce from the SADA enclave and Afram Plains to the port of Tema and other destinations.
“The railway link will provide a cheaper, reliable and alternative means for passengers who are not served by the road transport system in the corridor and the construction, operations and maintenance of the Railway Infrastructure will provide direct and indirect employment to a number of Ghanaians,” she said.
The $24.54 million for the Sugarcane development and Irrigation Project is to be used to cultivate a land of acreage of 1,700 will be cultivated to produce 102,000 tons of sugarcane to feed the Komenda sugar factory with raw material.
For his part, Pushpesh Tyagi, a representative of Exim Bank of India initialed for the company, underscored the importance of the trade relations between Ghana and India.
He said Indian through the Exim Bank had supported Ghana with concessional and commercial facilities to undertake various projects, including the Komenda Sugar Factory.
Mr. Tyagi said the Tema to Akosombo project to be undertaken by Afcons Infrastructure Limited of India, would provide a major link to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger for their transit goods.