Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Rail Industry

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-31

General Overview

The government of Ghana has made revamping the country’s railway network a priority and established the Ministry of Railway Development to execute this mandate. The country’s railway infrastructure has seen little development since its independence in 1957 and has deteriorated to the point that a majority of the 940 kilometers of narrow-gauge rail is out of service.

The government is focusing on a combination of rehabilitation and extension of existing track and development of completely new rail lines for both passengers and freight.

The policy objective driving this development plan is to build a modern railway network from the south to the north of Ghana along with associated infrastructure, leading to:

  • Infrastructure development in the towns traversed by railway lines
  • More efficient transportation of passengers and goods
  • Improved domestic and international trade
  • Economic growth and development
  • Job and wealth creation

To achieve this goal, a Railway Master Plan was developed in December 2013, with implementation starting in the latter part of 2016. The highlight of this plan is to increase the coverage of railway in the country to over 4,000 kilometers in 33 years at an estimated investment of US$21.5 billion. In addition to this is the need for freight and passenger rolling stock, at an estimated cost of US$1.2 billion over the same period, amounting to a total of US$22.7 billion.

This is to be carried out in six phases, with the first phase involving the rehabilitation of 668 kilometers of the existing narrow-gauge lines, and subsequent five stages involving the addition of new standard-gauge rail lines.

The specific lines to be worked on during the various phases and the associated costs are as follows:


PHASE 1: Rehabilitation of existing line

 

 

 

 

 

667.6

 

 

 

 

$2,803,920,000

1W - Western Line

340.0

1,428,000,000

1 - Takoradi - Tarkwa - Dunkwa - Kumasi

266.8

 

2 - Dunkwa - Awaso

73.2

 

1E - Eastern Line

327.6

1,375,920,000

1 - Accra - Kumasi

303.9

 

2 - Achimota - Tema

23.7

 

PHASE 2: Eastern “A” Expansion

1,161

$6,501,600,000

2W -Takoradi-Kumasi

266

1,489,600,000

2E - Accra - Kumasi

300

1,680,000,000

2C - Kumasi - Techiman - Tamale

383

2,144,800,000

- Tamale - Paga

212

1,187,200,000

PHASE 3: Transversal Expansions

484

$2,710,400,000

1 - Tamale - Yendi

102

571,200,000

2 - Fufulsu - Sawla

126

705,600,000

3 - Techiman - Atebubu - Kwadwokurom

198

1,108,800,000

4 - Nyinahin - Kumasi

58

324,800,000

PHASE 4: Trans Ecowas Expansion

498

$2,788,800,000

1 - Aflao - Tema - Accra

185

1,036,000,000

2 - Accra - Takoradi

212

1,187,200,000

3 - Tarkwa - Omanpe

101

565,600,000

PHASE 5: Western Expansion

729

$4,082,400,000

1 - Dunkwa - Awaso

73

408,800,000

2 - Awaso - Techiman

220

1,232,000,000

3 - Techiman - Sawla

223

1,248,800,000

4 - Sawla - Hamile

213

1,192,800,000

PHASE 6: Eastern “B” Expansion

468

$2,620,800,000

1 - Tema - Ho

130

728,000,000

2 - Ho - Yendi

338

1,892,800,000

TOTAL INVESTMENT COST (FINANCIAL)

[Km 4,007.6]

$21,507,920,000

 

The phases have not been carried out sequentially, however the following have been identified as priority: All of Phase 2 and some lines in Phases 3 and 5. The total cost of these priority projects is USD 7.8 billion. Important milestones in the achievement of this goal include:

April 2019: A consortium was chosen for the $1.8 billion rehabilitation of the existing Eastern Railway from Accra to Kumasi. The consortium comprises a mixture of local and international contractors, including Keteke Group (Ghana); Arisu, Ralf Blankenbach and Havellandische Eisenbahn (Germany); Voestalpine (Austria); Ipimed (France); and Salcef (Italy).

May 2019: Four bidders submitted requests for qualification (RFQs) for the new standard-gauge Eastern Railway line. The consortiums were China Railway Construction Consortium; African Global Development; Frontline Consortium; and China Railway Number 10 Consortium.

May 2019: China Railway Wuju Group Corporation (CRWG) signed a $500 million deal for rehabilitation of a 100 km section of the existing Western Rail Line from Manso, just north of Takoradi, to Dunkwa.

May 2019: The Ghanaian government approved $230 million of funding to purchase new rolling stock for the railways.

November 2019: Ghanaian government signs a concession agreement with the South African firm Ai SkyTrain Consortium Holdings for the construction of $2.6billion high-speed railway in Accra.

June 2020: The Ghanaian government signs $560 million contract with Amandi Holdings to construct the Western Rail Line.

The phases have mainly been financed via loans and the more popular Public Private Partnerships, using the Build Operate and Transfer model.

Though the Ministry of Railways Development has the oversight responsibility for the development of the sector, the implementing agency is the Ghana Railway Development Authority.

The current Railway Master Plan is under review because recent discoveries of mineral deposits in areas that were not included and is expected to be published toward the end of 2020. It is expected to expand the current route and thus offer more opportunities for investment.

Opportunities for U.S. companies

Although the initial parts of this massive infrastructure drive have been dominated by Chinese, South African and Ghanaian companies, there are still numerous opportunities for U.S. companies involved in the provision of railway technologies in the above-mentioned projects, provided they arrange their own sources of funding. While there are on occasion tenders for various phases and projects of the railway upgrade and expansion project, more often deals are signed using sole-source procurements. Financing is a critical factor and is generally expected to be provided by the provider of products or services.

Resources

Ministry of Railways Development: http://www.mrd.gov.gh/3/1/project-objective

Ghana Railways Development Authority: http://www.mrd.gov.gh/5/12/agencies

Ghana Railway Company Ltd.: http://www.mrd.gov.gh/5/12/agencies