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Top management of the Chinese state owned enterprise, China Railway Group Ltd (CREC) have arrived in Ethiopia to discuss the government’s development projects to be carried out in the current five year plan. The delegation led by Zhang Zongyan, President of CREC, arrived in Addis on Thursday September 17 to visit ongoing projects and discuss the company’s plans. The company aims to undertake new railway projects and other infrastructure projects in the country, according to sources in the enterprise.
A few months back, CREC was engaged in discussions with the government to continue work on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) of the capital city, while it has also proposed to undertake the railway line project from Mojo to Hawassa.
Sources said that CREC intends to work beyond phase two of the LRT extension. The second phase of the line will continue to Legetafo from Ayat and on to Lebu via Alem Bank from Tor Hailoch on the east-west end of the current line. The north-south line will continue to Shero Meda from Minilik Square and to Gelan via Lebu, which will be the main station in Addis Ababa for the national railway network.
The company tabled its future plans for the metropolitan transport system during Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s visit to China two weeks ago.
Getache Betru (PhD/Eng), CEO of Ethiopia Railway Corporation (ERC), confirmed the company’s interest and said that the government has not yet given a final decision on upcoming projects.
On his visit, the CREC president, appointed to the position in July this year, is expected to discuss the issue with top government officials, including the PM.
The current metropolitan electric railway has a total length of 34.25 km (the North-South line 16.9 km and the East-West line 17.35 km) and is constructed by another Chinese company, which facilitated the finance from Chinese EXIM Bank. Similarly, CREC is also expected to undertake projects on the financing that it will facilitate.
The company is interested in participating in the development of the Mojo- Hawassa express way. Two phases of the project will be funded by the World Bank and the South Korean government, among others, but remaining phases are in need of funding, which is where CREC comes in.
The company has completed its design for the railway network, which is expected to connect the city in every direction including Bole Airport, Lebu, Burayou, and condominium housing areas like Jomo. It is also on the final stages of completing the railway line that stretches from Sebeta/Addis Ababa to Mieso via Adama, set to connect Ethiopia and Djibouti.
CREC, rising up in Fortune 500’s rank, has also expressed its interest to construct the Hawassa Industry Park, one of the major economic projects to be undertaken in the GTP II period.