Bolloré Railways launches the rehabilitation of the Abidjan-Ouagadougou rail network
09 September 2015
On September 9, at Treichville station in Abidjan, Bolloré Railways, via its Sitarail subsidiary, operator of the rail link between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, started work on the rehabilitation of the Abidjan – Ouagadougou line.
The ceremony was attended by Philémon Yang, Prime Minister of Cameroon; Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o, Minister of Transport; Cyrille Bolloré, CEO, Bolloré Transport & Logistics; Hamadou Sali, Chairman of Camrail’s Board of Directors; Quentin Gérard, CEO of Camrail; and Mohamed Diop, Gulf of Guinea Regional Director for Bolloré Africa Logistics.
The new GRP 3000 type locomotives, built by the South African manufacturer Gringrod, have a haulage capacity of up to 1,500 MT. The acquisition represents a total investment of 13.5 bn CFA. The locomotives are part of the vast modernisation programme launched by Camrail under the Cameroon rail concession agreement that will remain in force till December 31 2034. The second rider to the agreement provides for 230 bn Fcf of investment between 2009 and 2020, including 158 bn by Bolloré Group.
Bolloré Railways has committed to investing 400 million euros, (262 bn FCFA) over a maximum of 5 years to modernise the rail infrastructures and increase the network’s capacities.
The planned work includes the renovation of the civil engineering structures, track rehabilitation and the re-routing of specific sections to optimise traffic flow and reduce journey times. Ultimately, the work will raise freight traffic to 5 MT, compared with the current capacity of 910,000 MT.
The station at Treichville, renovated by Bolloré Railways and inaugurated today at a ceremony attended by representatives of the authorities, will set the standard as the company focuses on enhancing passenger comfort levels. This will include the rehabilitation of stations, more than ten of which are located to the north of Bouaké and are currently closed to passengers. The renovated stations will be re-opened for passenger service.
Cyrille Bolloré, President of Bolloré Transport & Logistics
The investment will enable the company to pursue its policy to renew its rolling stock and several sections of Cameroon’s rail track, as well as contribute to the modernisation of its information systems.
Michel Roussin, CEO of Sitarail
We are reviving rail transport with the rehabilitation of the 1,260 km section, enabling the renewal, modernisation and re-implementation of the rail safety system, improving journey times
In addition to the infrastructure-related investment, Bolloré Railways is already injecting substantial resources —around €15 million — into the renovation of rolling stock, to increase the haulage capacity of the locomotives. The first six new locomotives of the 15 due for delivery by April 2016 were handed over in Abidjan during the summer of 2015 and went into service last week. Sitarail will also be phasing in new air-conditioned passenger carriages to replace the existing rolling stock.
The investments demonstrate determination of Bolloré Railways to fulfil the long-awaited aspiration for a West African rail loop (2,740 km connecting Abidjan to Lomé via Ouagadougou, Niamey and Cotonou).