The South Korean Company, the Sung Shin Rolling Stock (SSRT) has finished manufacturing 36 passenger wagons and locomotive engines out of 60 Tanzania ordered from the company for the envisaged Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) service during 2020/21 financial year.
This will be the first batch of the third class passenger wagons to be delivered in the country since the government went on bidding procurement processes of the needed facility to run SGR mega project.
The facilities will be used for grand testing slated in February next year when the first phase of the SGR train service between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro covering 300 kilometers away is scheduled to officially start operation.
The Korean investor was contracted by Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) in Sept 2020 together with other three companies in the same financial year but on different months.
TRC’s Head of Public Relations Jamila Mbarouk said during an exclusive interview with The Business Wiz that, “the facilities have been shipped to Tanzania for delivery while other 24 are expected to be completed by March, next year”.
Tanzania government started bidding for train’s facilities since 2020/2021 financial year and up to now is actually in the process of finalising procurement process of the required facilities for a two year contract as earlier agreed with other two international companies.
The first contract was made with China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRSC) Ltd from China for the procurement of 1,430 cargo wagons named high speed Electric Multiple Units (EMU) which are set to arrive in the country by 2023.
Another contract targeted the purchase of 60 passenger couches was signed in September in 2020 with Sung Shin Rolling Stock Technology Limited of South Korea. In both contracts, an unspecified sum of money as an advanced payment is already settled by the government.
The Minister for Works and Transport Professor Makame Mbarawa said in Parliament during its budget session that, already the government has slated the purchase of locomotive engines and some wagons which is being done in phases in accordance with government budget routine.
The South Korea-based company Hyundai Rotem secured contracts worth in total US$ 295.65 million to deliver ten sets of eco-friendly train cars with 80 passenger couches and 17 electric locomotive engines worth $105.53 million for SGR as agreed in the contract.
As per the deal, the total costs of all these contracts which are expected to be accomplished at different stages are estimated to be US$ 508.2 million once accomplished, and all these are expected to be delivered by 2024.
During the signing of the contract which took place in Dar es Salaam, TRC was represented by its Director General, Masanja Kadogosa, while Hyundai Rotem was represented by its Senior Manager, Mr
The government agency, the TRC which has been tasked to supervise the project is expected to carry out the process under great scrutiny using the country’s public procurement stipulations as required by the law.
Early this year, the state corporation terminated its contract it had signed with a Turkish firm, Euro wagon in July 2020 for the purchase of two electric locomotive engines and 30 passenger couches.
The implementation of the deal slugged, because the company failed to comply by contractual agreement for which it was required to submit the facilities in November 2021, yet the government had already settled 35 per cent as down payment of the agreed amount.
The experimental equipment was supposed to be completed early enough to ensure that the initial operation could begin immediately after the construction of the first phase line was completed.
Earlier agreement between the two parties had given rights of responsibilities for the Yapi Merkez, the
Turkish firm undertaking the project to accomplish the maintenance services required and also to ensure timely delivery of the needed facilities to be done within the agreed time frame.
This was among the conditions required to be fulfilled by the firm to ensure that the facilities to be bought are well furnished and maintained for use before being shipped into the country.
But the firm did the opposite and brought facilities which were not complete by standards an aspect that forced the government to incur other expenses for maintenance an aspect that it sealed off the deal.
As the inaugural trial of passenger services as well as wagons is expected to start in February next year along the first phase of the SGR network, the designated line has six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro.
The multi-billion SGR project in Tanzania which started in April 2017 hardly four years down the lane, is being constructed in five different phases covering a total stretch of 1,457 Km from Dar es Salaam to the shores of Lake Victoria in Mwanza city.
This is amongst the mega projects in the country which on its completion the government has planned to spend an estimated 14trn/- (US$ 6.5 billion).