Ghana recruits consulting firms for railway project feasibility study

03 May 2018

Ghana’s Ministry of Railway Development has selected a consortium of consulting firms to assist with planning and design of the proposed Greenfield Railway Line between Ghana and Burkina Faso. Firms selected include ILF Consulting Engineers from Austria, alongside Vision Consult Ghana and Gauff Consultants of Germany.

The Greenfield Railway line is a landmark project for Ghana’s railway system, stretching for approximately 600 kilometres between the two Ghanaian regions of Kumasi and Paga. Among the benefits of the line is the direct link between Ghana and neighbouring Burkina Faso, given Paga’s location on the border between the two countries, and the close association between people of both nationalities in the region. 

The line is one component of Ghana’s Railway Master plan (devised in 2013), and will act as a nucleus for key routes in country’s transportation network, which has earned it the title of the 'Central Spine' of Ghana’s railway. This central connection will simplify logistics and transportation infrastructure, thereby improving customer service, cutting costs, and facilitating a higher volume of trade.

Before proceeding with the project, the Ministry of Railway Development requires a comprehensive feasibility report, detailing the financial, environmental, and social costs of the development. To this end, the ministry launched a tender earlier this year, inviting proposals from the consulting industry for support with the study.

Railway project Ghana

Having considered the entries, the ministry chose a consortium of firms, which will be led by local consulting firm Vision Consult Ghana. Based in Accra, Vision is an ideal fit for the job, given its specific expertise in consultancy services for development projects. 

The firm has previously worked with a number of development agencies, having conducted socioeconomic feasibility studies, baseline studies, impact monitoring and evaluation, engineering design, construction supervision, and post-project management. Vision is supported by a number of international bodies, including the International Development Association, the United Nations, and the World Bank.

Alongside Vision Consult, the consortium consists of Gauff Consultants from Germany and ILF Consulting Engineers from Austria. Gauff will complement Vision’s overall development expertise with specific expertise in mobility and infrastructure projects, endorsed by a large body of experience in the development of railway systems.

ILF is also an engineering firm, with technical expertise in industrial infrastructure, focused on four broad areas: energy & climate protection, water & environment, oil & gas, and transportation & structures – which will be the vertical deployed for the Greenfield project.

The project is the latest in a series of public sector development schemes in Ghana that have all sought support from the consulting industry. The energy sector, in particular, has called in consulting services for three different projects in the last five months. Two of these involved restructuring of thermal power plants, while one was a feasibility study for Ghana’s renewable energy programme.

Cameroon seeks consulting support for electricity distribution project

10 April 2019

The Government of Cameroon is on the lookout for consultants to support with the development of the Master Plan Production Transport Distribution of Electricity. The selected consultancy will be expected to conduct a study regarding the evacuation of power facilities in the country.

The result of the proposed study will be an initial design, followed by a more detailed blueprint, in addition to the final tender paperwork. The Master Plan Production Transport Distribution of Electricity is one of several developmental projects taking place across Africa to improve the region’s infrastructure scenario.

Specifically, the project looks to develop a more comprehensive network of transportation to and from power generation facilities, not only to enhance the capacity within these plants but also to expand the scope of distribution to the more remote areas of the country. The project also involves the development of two solar power plants.Cameroon seeks consulting support for electricity distribution project

This is another trend that is common across a number of African markets. Given that the latest wave of infrastructure development on the continent is coinciding with a global trend towards sustainable energy, most African countries are integrating renewable sources such as wind and solar within their energy generation systems.

Tcholiré and Kousséri are the two cities to be endowed with solar power plants, The candidates for consulting partners of the project are expected to have considerable global experience in the domains of power distribution and managing renewable energy generation projects.

Overall, the new plan is being designed to cover the gaps in the previous Electricity Sector Development Plan that was formed in 2014. The earlier plan failed to address a number of distribution issues around major generation centres, while the new plan is being designed to ensure efficient distribution.

As a result, the requirements for the new plan include detailed assessments of voltage and capacity of electricity plants, and the capacity of their associated distribution systems. The new plan is also, in similar vein, expected to have detailed guidelines on optimum transportation networks to and from the generation facilities.