Citadel Capital platform company's recently completed project has cut transit times from Mombasa to Nairobi by 6 hours; further material improvements in RVR continue to roll out as part of five-year turnaround program
Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway, has completed the building of 73 kilometers of new railway track between Mombasa and Nairobi costing US$20 million (KES 1.7 billion [Kenyan Shillings, kshs])to improve the reliability and speed of cargo delivery by rail from Mombasa.
Completion of the railway modernisation project has reduced cargo delivery time between Mombasa and Nairobi by six hours through rebuilding the most badly rundown sections, which were responsible for 60% of blockage time on the rail line.
“RVR’s US$ 20 million investment in building this new stretch of railroad is a significant milestone as this railway line had been ailing for lack of investment for over a decade prior to the concession,” said RVR Executive Vice Chairman Brown Ondego.
RVR is a platform company of Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in Africa and the Middle East with investments of US$ 9.5 billion in five core industries, including energy, transportation, agrifoods, mining and cement.
Construction of the new railway line included the laying of 10,000 sleepers (railway ties) to retain track geometry and improve safety. The upgrade is part of a larger track modernization program that will see the rebuilding of over 360 km of the most affected sections of the railroad in both Kenya and Uganda.
“The completion of this project under our continuing track upgrade program has considerably improved the reliability and efficiency of our operations. We are now operating larger-capacity trains and, as a result, have improved our loading capacity and reduced travel hours,” Ondego added.
The 10-month reconstruction project awarded contracts worth KES 454 million (more than US$ 5.3 million) to Kenyan contractors and suppliers and paid KES 29 million (over US$ 0.34 million) in wages to workers recruited from SMEs under a partnership program with communities living along the railway line.
Commenting on the faster cargo delivery, Steve Felder, managing director of Maersk shipping agency, noted, “As a shipping line we very much welcome this development as we are convinced that it will effectively improve the safe and reliable transport of our customer’s cargo and create more demand for rail transport between Mombasa and Nairobi.”
Ondego said RVR is on course with significant investments to introduce innovations in operations and modernize infrastructure both in Kenya and Uganda in order to ensure a dependable and well-functioning railway that can spur growth and regional economic integration throughout East Africa.
He said improved reliability has been one of the immediate benefits and the number of incidents declined a full 20% last month.
Rift Valley Railways (RVR) is the Kenya-Uganda concessionaire operating freight rail services in Kenya and Uganda on an exclusive basis. The concession company went through a shareholder restructuring in Q3 of 2010 and was given the mandate to operate railway services on 2,352 kilometers of track linking the port of Mombasa with the interiors of Kenya and Uganda, including Kampala.
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading investment company in Africa and Middle East. Citadel Capital controls investments of US$ 9.5 billion and focuses on 5 core industries: Energy, Transportation, Agrifoods, Mining, and Cement. For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
For more information, please contact:
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Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)
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