The Kenyan government now seeks an additional US$ 4bn as loan from China that will help finance the extension of the standard gauge railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu.
The loan which is expected to be provided by China Exim Bank will finance the construction of the third phase of the SGR, a 270km line between Naivasha and Kisumu.
State House Spokesman Mr. Manoah Esipisu confirmed the news and told reporters in Beijing, where the President has been attending a trade conference that the funding will undergo the normal procedure of approval and Premier Li has promised to give it the adequate consideration and urgency it deserves.
“The funding request will undergo normal procedure of approval and Premier Li has promised to give it the adequate consideration and urgency it deserves,”said Mr. Esipisu.
The first phase cost a whopping US$ 3.1bn that was between Mombasa and Nairobi.
The additional cost reveals that each kilometre of the upcoming third phase of the railway will cost US$ 13m compared to with reference to US$ 15m for the Nairobi-Naivasha phase.
The SGR line is for passengers and cargo transportation between Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The new railway line constitutes the first phase of the SGR project that aims to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence. It will shorten the passenger travel time from Mombasa to Nairobi from more than ten hours to a little more than four hours. Freight trains will complete the journey in less than eight hours.
Construction of the 609km-long line began in October 2013 and is scheduled to be complete by December 2017.