Turkish firm to build $1.7 bln Ethiopian rail

Turkish firm to build $1.7 bln Ethiopian rail

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Turkish firm to build $1.7 bln Ethiopian rail

This file photo shows a part at the metro project undertaken by Yapı Merkezi. The Turkish firm is set to build a 390 kilometer railroad in Ethiopia in 42 months. Hürriyet photo

Turkey’s Yapı Merkezi has won the bid to construct Ethiopia’s 390 kilometer Awash-Wedie rail line for $1.7 billion. This will be one of the largest sole projects for a Turkish construction firm abroad, according to daily Hürriyet.

The agreement was signed June 26 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa at a signing ceremony attended by Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn.

Yapı Merkezi won the tender after a four-month negotiation process by providing the most attractive offer. Chinese firms were also interested in the project, according to the source and had submitted bids in the tender. The rail line is expected to be completed in 42 months and will begin in the city of Awash and continue to the city of Weldie in the country’s north. The project will consist of a single rail line and with a 25 kilometer tunnel and four kilometer bridge. There will also be four central and six auxiliary stations on the rail line, a traffic control center and two repair centers.

“The project will use local labor as well as 1,500 Turkish employees,” said Emre Aykar Yapı Merkezi’s Executive Board Director. Turkey’s Eximbank will also provide a country loan to Ethiopia.

Yapı Merkezi had also built the Dubai metro back in 2009 with a Japanese consortium. The project had cost $7.6 billion. According to data provided by the Turkish Contractors’ Association (TMB) Turkish construction firms have taken on two projects in Ethiopia to date worth $42 million.