Tanzania picks Mota-Engil, Yapi Merkezi to build $1.1 billion rail
Feb 8, 2017: Tanzania picked Turkish construction company Yapi Merkezi and Portuguese building firm Mota-Engil to build a railway at a cost of more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to connect the East African country with landlocked neighbours, according to media reports.
The contract is to build about 400 kilometers (249 miles) of track that will link Tanzania with Burundi and Rwanda. Mota-Engil and Yapi Merkezi hold a 50 percent stake each in the winning group, the news agency report mentioned.
Mota-Engil is Portugal’s biggest construction company and depends on Africa for almost a third of its revenue, according to the company’s website.
Yapi Merkezi has asked the Turkish government to provide guarantees for financing the project, one person said, without providing details. Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan made a two-day visit to Tanzania last month to strengthen ties between the two nations.
Tanzania has planned a 2,200-kilometer project known as the Central Railway Line from Dar es Salaam to the Rwandan capital Kigali, with two other lines branching off to Musongati in Burundi and to Mwanza port on the shores of Lake Victoria to service Ugandan shippers. It estimates that project will cost 16.7 trillion shillings ($7.5 billion). It also intends to build another line in the south linking the port town of Mtwara to coal projects in Liganga and Mchuchuma for about 16.1 trillion shillings.