The Ethiopian Road Construction Corporation (ERCC) said it will compete with foreign companies in local rail way projects.
Currently, Chinese and Turkish contractors are in charge of all railway projects Ethiopia is building. ERCC’s intent to embark on railway work could stimulate local contractors to be drawn into the field.
Chinese companies were contracted to build the USD 2.8 billion railway line that connects Addis Ababa with Djibouti by 2016, and Turkish and Brazilian companies are shortlisted to construct other segments of the nationwide railway network.
The test run of the train that shuttles from Addis Ababa to Djibouti is expected to take place in October 2016. In addition, the 32 kilometers metropolitan light railway which extends from East to West starting from Ayat Square down to Tor Hailoch, and a North-South line starting from Menelik Square in Piazza to Kaliti, in Akaki-Kaliti district is in the final stage to start operation.
Mohammed Abulsemeid, ERCC Design and Construction Office Head, told Capital that the corporation has made preparations to participate in railway tenders.
“We did not construct any railway but that does not mean we don’t have the capacity to do it. We have a good record in roads construction and that is like a springboard for us to ascend to railway projects. We have seasoned engineers, designers and other staff.”
“In GTP II, many railways will be constructed. We don’t want to be confined in roads construction only, we need to do railways which are solely constructed by foreign companies at present.’’
He added that the corporation has planned to construct 129 kilometers roads next year and hopes to make 349 million birr profit.
Currently, the corporation is participating in 13 federal roads construction projects while local and foreign private contractors are working on another 54 projects. ERCC had constructed 704 km of roads in the past three years and it looks forwards to laying down 1,600 km of roads in the second GTP period.
The corporation has set its profit target at over 3.2 billion birr. The corporation will derive the profit from equipment rental, raw materials sales, and from construction and maintenance works.
ERCC is also considering delving into construction markets in Somalia and South Sudan to meet its ambitious targets.
The corporation has also planned to hold 50 percent stakes on the road construction market in the country at the end of GTP II.