The Ghana Manganese Company Limited has committed a total of $10 million to the rehabilitation of a section of the western rail line.
The money paid to Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) as freight prepayment by the manganese company will be used for the refurbishment of the track from Kojokrom to Tarkwa over a period of seven months, beginning from October this year.
GRCL and Hob Trade Company Limited are the co-contractors for the project, with Hob Trade playing an additional role of technical adviser.
Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey made the disclosure to the media on Wednesday in Accra, saying the move would ensure the continuous existence of GRCL.
He said the Rehabilitation Committee for the project has earmarked $4.9 million for operational expenses while $5.1 million would be used for capital expenditure.
The payment of the money is an expression of confidence in the ability of Ghana Railway Company Limited by the Ghana Manganese Company and its holding company, Consolidated Minerals and would cover a period of three and a half year, he added.
The Western rail line, BUSINESS GUIDE gathered, is in a deplorable state and delays the haulage of products from Nsuta to the port and vice versa by Ghana Manganese Company.
According to him, design works have commenced for standard gauge for the 330 kilometres western line which begins from Tarkoradi and ends at Kumasi.
He said the wooden slippers on the line would be replaced with steel slippers and concrete.
A total of $40 million was captured in 2017 budget for repair works along the western rail line.
The minister said if government attracts more investors into the sector, it could use the budgeted amount for other development projects to better the lives of Ghanaians.
He reiterated government’s commitment to developing industrial hubs along railways nationwide.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Consolidated Minerals Limited, Ole Shegko, said the project would help in the development of Ghana Manganese Company, as well as the economies of the Western Region and Ghana in general.
He said the Manganese Company was considering increasing production capacity to three million tonnes by the end of 2017.
Source: Daily Guide
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