The Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) signed a USD 1.7 billion contract agreement with Turkish company Yapi Merkezi Construction Industry Inc ., to construct 389 kilometers of the Awash-Woldia/Hara Gebeya Railway Project on June 26.
Yapi Merkezi is the first Turkish company to win a railway construction contract in the country.
It is expected to complete the project in its entirety; engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) within 42 months.
The project will link Woldia/Hara Gebeya- Semera- Diecheto-Elidar Project, connecting the northern part of Ethiopia with the Tadjurah port of Djibouti, which will give the country an alternative port access and thus contribute to the economic development of the Ethiopia.
Dr. Tewfik Abdullahi (Amb.) an advisor and representative of Yapi Merkezi in Ethiopia said the project is going to be financed jointly from the Ethiopian Government coffers and that of the Export and Import Bank (EXIM) of Turkey.
He also said the company won the contract after being shortlisted, competing with other companies from Russia, Brazil, China, and India.
ERC had on December 13 presented proposals for 22 International Companies and after short listing companies who showed interest in the bid; examining the corridor study, site inspection and design proposals that eventually chose the Turkish company.
Tewfik further said that this railway project is the first of its kind won by the company and it expects to create transportation linkages between different parts of Ethiopia to facilitate easy movement of people and commodities between Djibouti port and Ethiopia.
The 389Km Awash-Woldia/Hara Gebeya Railway is the second phase of a three phase railroad that would link Mekele to Djibouti.
The ERC had signed just last week a contract agreement with the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for the construction of the 268.2Km Mekele- Woldiya/Hara Gebeya Railway project at a cost of USD 1.6 billion.
Before this rail road project, all of the previous projects had been won by Chinese firms.
Another Chinese company, China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (CREEC) has already started constructing the 37.381Km Addis Ababa light rail transit project.
While in yet another project, CREEC is constructing the first lot of the 317Km Addis Ababa-Me’eso railway lines.
The second lot of the 340Km Me’eso-Dire Dawa-Dawale electric railway project was awarded to another Chinese state owned enterprise, China Civil Construction Corporation (CCECC) on December 16, 2011, which has already started construction.
The Ethiopian government plans to construct more than 2,000Kms of rail lines during the five year Growth and Transformation Plan program.