The Ministry of Railways Development has started work on the new standard gauge line from Manso to Huni-Valley, spanning a distance of 78 kilometres under the Western Rail Line.
The project was being undertaken under a loan facility of €500 million, however,€68 million has been extended to the contractor as mobilisation money to move to site.
The commencement of the project was made known by John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Railways Development, when he took his turn to address the media in Accra yesterday under the auspices of the ministry of Information “Meet the Press” series.
The Minister also used the platform to address development in the railway sector.
He said the Western Railway Line from Takoradi to Kumasi was a major route for transportation of minerals and other bulk commodities such as manganese and bauxite.
Mr Amewu said in order to build capacity for maintenance and sustainability of the sector, the Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Railway Company Limited, has partnered the George Grant of Mines and Technology to upgrade the old Railway Training Institute located at Sekondi into a degree awarding institute to provide training in engineering and other ancillary programmes.
He said additionally, the Railway Location Workshop Complex, also situated at Sekondi, has been upgraded and equipped for it to become a one stop workshop to serve the railway, mining, petroleum, and agricultural industries in the Western Region.
Touching on the development of the Eastern Railway Line, he said the line was earmarked for development on the standard gauge from Accra through Boankra Inland Port to Kumasi, adding that it would also include the development of two branch lines from Achimota to Tema and from Bosuso to Kyebi.
Giving insight to key achievements under the Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity project, he said the Tema-Mpakadan line, spanning 97.7 kilometres, was about 90 per cent complete while the Mpakadan-Aouga dougou section, spanning 1,100km, was going through procurement process under a “Build-Operate-Transfer” model.
He said the government was bent on revitalising the railway sector to enhance trade and industrial growth in order to reduce poverty and propel economic growth.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI