Plans to construct a new Tanzania rail system that will connect the Indian Ocean in Kenya with Great Lakes Region in Tanzania were announced along with the intentions of the Tanzania Government to outsource management of the high-speed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to an international firm.
According to the project manager in-charge of SGR Development, Solomon Ouna, the railway has begun the process of hiring a consultant to assist in the recruitment of a qualified manager.
“There will be an international tender to identify the best operator possible. The whole project is so big – necessitating that we source for a consultant who is familiar with the process. We are in the process of acquiring that consultant,” he said during a recent Rail Transport Policy forum in Kenya.
President Jakaya Kikwete indicated the importance of the construction project, saying that it would ease the strain put on the country’s road.
“There will come a time when we will be transporting one million tons of iron ore from Liganga and the same amount of coal from Mchuchuma Coal Mine in Iringa region in addition to one million tons of coal from Ngaka in Ruvuma Region,” said President Kikwete, “It is important that we put up the railway. We cannot transport such bulk cargo on our roads lest we destroy them, despite heavy investments in their construction.”
China Roads and Bridge Construction Company will complete the construction of the SGR, which will run an estimate distance of 2,935km.