Uganda in talks with Turkish firm to construct SGR

The launch. South Sudan president Salva Kiir (3rd left), Rwanda’s Paul Kagame (2nd right) and President Museveni (right) and other officials launch the SGR project in Kampala in 2014. FILE Photo.

Uganda is in talks with Yapi Merkezi, a Turkish construction firm to construct the long-awaited Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on the Eastern and Western part of Malaba-Kampala-Kigali, government has said. 
The communication was made by the government via its Twitter platform on May 16.  
Although details of the contract are not publicly known, it is estimated that the project will cost about $2.2 billion.

The Government’s decision follows the termination of the contract of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) that had previously been contracted to build the 273-kilometer line from Malaba to Kampala.
The contract of CHEC was terminated in November 2022 after the firm failed to convince China Exim Bank to finance the project.

Merkezi Company is already undertaking work on the SGR project in Tanzania.
Ahead of the Partner States Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIPs), the government said the SGR group would hold meetings from 24 to 26.  
“The government will interface with Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) and other stakeholders,” the tweet read without elaborating further the agenda of the consultations

The Business Daily, a sister publication to this publication, in a recent report, said the government of Kenya ultimately agreed to extend the SRG from Naivasha to Malaba border setting sight on a KShs2.1 trillion (Ushs56t) plan to extend the SGR to Kisumu, Malaba and Isiolo by the end of June 2027.

Once completed, SGR is expected to ease transport of people and goods between the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and also Tanzania. Currently, the government is focusing on compensating locals staying within the confines of the railway line. 
Works on the Ugandan side are slated to kick off in August this year, according to government. 
Construction of the SGR has not entirely been a smooth one. The project has been met with several challenges along the way, including cancellation contracts, delayed procurement processes, spending billions of money in compensation, technical hiccups, among other issues. 

The SGR has since 2014 failed to kick off due to a number of factors.

Additional Reporting by Daily Monitor

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