Six candidates have been shortlisted for the eastern rail line project in Ghana which seeks to link the capital Accra to Kumasi, the second largest city, with a branch line from Achimota, an Accra suburb, to Tema Port.
The companies were selected after an evaluation process by a committee and the transaction advisers, PWC, which saw the number of bidders trimmed down from 45 companies to 25, then subsequently to the six.
This was disclosed by Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), Richard Diedong Dombo. He refused to give details of the shortlisted candidates.
“The government of Ghana cannot fund the project from its resources so we retained PWC as our transaction advisers and the tenders were sent to the international community for interested bidders and subsequently, 45 companies were shortlisted which was later trimmed down to six,” he said.
He said in arriving at the six shortlisted companies, the committee and the advisers took into consideration their financial and technical capacities.
On an infrastructure where the construction of a single kilometre on average cost about US$4 million, we cannot rush things so we took our time to evaluate their financial and technical capacities,” he noted.
“Some of the bidders are just time wasters so we had to be careful with the selection process. It’s been a slow grind but it’s a deliberate grind and a responsible one which has seen us move from 45 to six,” he added.
He said the six shortlisted companies had been sent to a tender review committee for further evaluation and once approved, they would settle on the preferred contractor for the project.
Western rail line
On the western rail line in the mineral and oil-rich Western Region, Mr. Dombo said the authority was using the same process as there was currently an evaluation process on received bids out of which the preferred company would be chosen.
However, with this project, he said the government had taken a step to commit its own resources to construct 22 kilometres out of the 333km stretch.
“We have already awarded 5km to Amandi Constructions and a subsequent contract has also been signed subject to a value audit which is almost complete.
Once the audit is completed by the ministry, then approval can be given for the construction of another 17km,” he explained.
Redevelopment of existing lines
Mr Dombo indicated that the revival of the rail way sector was a tough job but achievable.
“We are trying to revive a sector which was in a coma and needed an adrenaline injection to wake up, shake up, walk and run. I knew the challenges ahead but there is nothing that when you set your mind and heart to, cannot be achieved,” he stated.
He believed the sector was now heading in the right direction after the decoupling of the Railway Ministry from the Transport Ministry which had come with increased resources that had allowed the GRDA to embark on the redevelopment of existing rail lines.
“We inherited 946km from the colonial administration and in addition to that, new developments have been added so we decided to start the redevelopment of the existing lines,” he explained.
“The GRDA decided that they did not need to wait for a disaster to occur before bringing services on the Accra to Nsawam and the Tema to Akosombo lines, to a halt for renovation,” he added.
He said the Accra to Akosombo line, near Ghana’s biggest hydro dam, the Akosombo Dam, had been completed and would start operation while work on the Accra to Nsawam line, located in the capital, was also progressing as planned.