A new study on the Dar-Kigali-Bujumbura railway line has released the final cost of the project saying that it will take a whopping $3.5bn.
Ministers of Infrastructure from Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania are scheduled to meet in Kigali on December 08, to approve the study.
According to the Minister of Infrastructure Eng. Linda Bihire, during the regional meeting, a final study on the Isaka-Kigali-Musongoti railway construction will be presented before the ministers.
A report complied after the study, a copy of which The New Times has seen, indicates that the renovation of the current existing Isaka railway line will cost approximately $900m while the construction of the new linkage would cost an estimated $2.6bn.
The total length of Isaka-Kigali, Keza Musongati is 691.7km.
Experts are projecting that construction of the railway, which is scheduled to begin any time soon, is likely be complete by 2014.
Currently, Rwanda is in charge of coordinating the project and the current plan for the railroad is to accommodate a modern high-speed train that travels with a minimum speed of 120 kilometres per hour.
The three countries had earlier talked about how to raise equity, source for concessional loans and how to manage the railway line.
She said that the new railway will meet the standard railway gauge of 1.43metres which allows it to accommodate a huge annual turnover.
According to the study, the railway will be generating an annual income of approximately US$44bin by 2031.
Upon completion, most importers and exporters are expected to shift from Mombasa port to Dar es Salaam port as it will become possible to deliver imports to Kigali or Rwandan exports to Dar within a single day, as opposed to the six days it currently takes for imports from Dar es Salaam via the Central Corridor.
“The project is bankable and economically feasible; there are indications of interests from private equities, capital firms and large multinational engineering construction companies as well as locomotive and rolling stock supplies,” said Bihire.
The study on the railway linkage line was conducted by US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).