$2bn Sinohydro facility to be ready by next month – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Ghana is expected to access the first tranche of the $2billion Sinohydro Infrastructure for bauxite facility agreement with China by the end of close of next month.

This would enable work to commence on several infrastructural projects under the phase one of the facility starting from next year.

The tranche, worth $649 miilion is expected to be used for the execution of a number of projects including; road construction in the Northern, Ashanti, Greater Accra, Central, Western, Eastern, Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions.

Addressing the media at a bi-weekly briefing by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the initial hurdles that had to be cleared in order to draw down on the facility had been fulfilled.

He explained that the Master Project Support Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Sinohydro of China was entered into last year and subsequently approved by Parliament.

Mr Nkrumah said following the contract approval by parliament, two sets of contracts had been laid before parliament, adding that “These are the Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contracts and the Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA).”

He said parliament’s finance committee was scheduled to meet on the agreement after which it would be presented to the plenary consideration.

The Minister said the approval would pave way for construction work to begin on the project which involved the construction of a total of 87 kilometres Accra Inner City Roads, 100 kilometres Kumasi Inner City Roads, 39 kilometres Sunyani Inner City Roads and the 32.19 kilometres Takoradi and Cape Coast Inner City Roads.

In addition the Adenta-Dodowa 14 kilometre Dual Carriageway, the 38 kilometre Oda-Ofoase-Abirem Road, 66.40 kilometre Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo-Pepesu Road, the Tamale Interchange Project and the PTC Roundabout Interchange Project in Takoradi would be constructed.

Giving a breakdown of the roads to be constructed in each of the cities, he said a total of five communities in Accra would have their roads constructed for them, adding that “the Accra Inner City Roads would include; the 19.03 kilometre road in Trobu in the Ga North District, 23.97 Anyaa Sowutuom Road in the Ga Central District, 21.70 Dome Kwabenya Road in the Ga East District, the 11.3 kilometre Ledzokuku-Teshie Road and the eight kilometre Nanakrom-Santeo Roads.”

The Kumasi Roads would include; the Manhyia, Suame, Tafo Pankrono, Asokwa, Kwadaso, Oforikrom, Subin, Nhyiaeso and Bantama Sub Metros as well as the Asante Mampong roads would be given a major facelift.

He said government had taken lessons from the $3 billion CDB loan and had put in place a risk management team to monitor and issue early alerts so government would avoid the pitfalls in dealing with the Chinese in terms of negotiating for such type of loans.

Mr Nkrumah expressed optimism that the government would be able to drawdown the entire $2billion facility before the close of 2020, stressing that “The facility will help improve on the infrastructure of the country.”

He said as part of the agreement, a 30 per cent local content component had been inserted into the contract, as a result 30 per cent of all the projects to be undertaken under the facility would be reserved for Ghanaian contractors.

 By Cliff Ekuful

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