Tema-Mpakadan Railway Project, Ghana
The Tema-Mpakadan railway line aims to improve connectivity between Port Tema and the northern parts of Ghana. Credit: Ports and Harbors Authority of Ghana.
A 300 m long railway bridge is being built over the Volta as part of the project. Credit: Ghana Shippers Authority.
AFCONS Infrastructure is in charge of the construction of the Tema-Mpakadan railway project. Credit: Ghana Shippers Authority.
The Tema-Mpakadan Railway Project involves the construction of a 97.6 km standard gauge railway line between Tema and Mpakadan in Ghana.
The project is part of the Government of Ghana’s strategy to develop the country’s railway industry to improve its socio-economic status. Ghana aims to construct over 4,500 km of railways across the country.
The Tema-Mpakadan project is built as part of a multimodal transport network designed to improve connectivity between the port of Tema and the northern regions of the country. It is a component of the first phase of the 1,000 km Ghana-Burkina Faso Rail Interconnection Project, which will construct a railway line between the port of Tema in Ghana and Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
Construction on the project began in July 2018 and is expected to be completed by December 2022. It was previously expected to be completed in 2021 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Context of the Tema-Mpakadan railway project
The Tema-Mpakadan Railway Project, formerly known as the Tema-Akosombo Railway Project, was proposed as a “port-to-port project” in 2007.
In 2007, a feasibility study for a multimodal transit system between Tema and Buipe via Akosombo was commissioned. The Parliament of Ghana approved the Tema-Akosombo railway project in November 2016.
The project agreement was revised after the new government under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo came to power in January 2017. The revision was ordered due to the potential impact on the Akosombo Dam caused by the drilling from a tunnel through the rock to the port of Akosombo.
Other factors that prompted the review included security concerns and a lack of adequate economic activity near the Akosombo Port rail terminal.
The scope of the project was modified as a result of the review and the length of the route was increased from 84.83 km to 97.6 km. The revised scope included the construction of a railway bridge over the Volta.
Railway project construction details
The railway line will include six passenger stations and a freight terminal near the port of Tema. The rail terminal is intended to facilitate the transport of goods to and from northern Ghana and beyond to the ports of Tema.
The project also includes a 300m long railway bridge connecting Senchi and Old Akrade over the Volta.
The railway project is financed by the Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim Bank), an export finance institution owned by the Indian government. India-based Exim Bank has pledged $447 million in financing to support the design and construction of the project. It provides financing in the form of buyer credit under a National Export Insurance Account (NEIA).
The Parliament of Ghana has approved a budget of $230 million for the purchase of rolling stock for the project.
Contractors involved in the project
Indian construction and engineering company AFCONS Infrastructure won the contract for the construction of the Tema-Mpakadan railway project in November 2016.
Benefits of the Tema-Mpakadan Railway Project
The Tema-Mpakadan railway project will provide safe, fast and cost-effective transportation of goods to Ghanaian shippers.
The new line is expected to provide a reliable mode of transportation for transit shippers and shippers in the northern part of the country. It will also serve the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.
The project is expected to reduce traffic congestion by reducing the movement of goods on the roads, as well as other axle load issues associated with transporting goods to landlocked countries.
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