Boost for SGR project in Tanzania

SEOUL, South Korea: TANZANIA is set to receive eight electric locomotives and two Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets from the Republic of Korea on June 16 of this year.

The delivery precedes the official commissioning of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma next month. Director General of the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC), Masanja Kadogosa, announced the upcoming arrival yesterday in Seoul, ahead of the Korea-Africa Summit scheduled for June 4-5, 2024.

Mr Kadogosa is part of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s delegation during her official visit to South Korea. He revealed that the TRC has purchased a total of 17 electric locomotives, with nine already in Tanzania. “We expect to receive the remaining eight electric locomotives on June 16.

These locomotives and coaches are manufactured by South Korean-based Sung Shin Rolling Stock Technology (SSRST), and the electriclocomotives are designed by Hyundai Rotem Company (HRC),” he noted. Regarding the EMU sets, he said, “We have already received one EMU, and on June 16, we will receive two more.

Further deliveries will continue into June and July 2024 as the company completes their production.” Mr Kadogosa highlighted the strong cooperation between Tanzania and South Korea, extending beyond railways to various sectors.

“In the SGR construction project from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, managed by different contractors, many project managers are from the Republic of South Korea,” he added.

“We have made purchases worth over 502 million US dollars on railway infrastructure alone, emphasising our strong and growing cooperation,” said Kadogosa. He also mentioned that the two countries are collaborating in the field of education and training.

Last year, 20 Tanzanians went to South Korea to study railway-related subjects, and 10 others received master’s degree training in the same field. “Currently, six students are in Korea studying railway operations and maintenance, with some employees having been here since last year for handson learning,” he said.

The training is conducted by Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) as per the agreement signed between TRC and KORAIL on July 4 last year for capacity building of Tanzanians who will operate railway services once the SGR is completed.

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Mr Kadogosa emphasised the importance of the KoreaAfrica Summit, where President Samia will participate in an infrastructure development session and share Tanzania’s experiences. “In the East African Community (EAC), Tanzania leads in infrastructure, particularly in railways and roads.

Our President’s insights are highly valued in this area,” he remarked. The Dar es Salaam – Morogoro section is 97.96 per cent complete, Morogoro – Makutupora is at 96.73 per cent, Makutupora – Tabora at 14.34 per cent, Tabora – Isaka at 5.8 per cent, and Isaka – Mwanza at 57.08 per cent.

Construction of the Tabora – Kigoma section is ongoing, reaching 5.49 per cent, and procurement processes for the Uvinza – Musongati railway are underway, awaiting approval from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Operational trials between Dar es Salaam and Dodoma continue, with the remaining work for the first section, including the completion of overpasses and installation of gates to prevent unauthorised access to railway areas, expected to conclude by mid-June.

The TRC has already conducted extensive tests on 28 coaches and three locomotives, ensuring readiness for operation.

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