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23.03.2006 General News

Feasibility studies on railway line next week

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Accra, March 23, GNA - The Government would begin feasibility studies on the construction of the long awaited new Western Corridor Railway Lines next week following a financial proposal presented to it by a consortium of Czech companies. The group known as CZMT comprising six companies is to carry out the over 800-kilometre railway line project with funds from one of the biggest banks in the Czech Republic with full backing from the Czech Government.

Mr Jan Venc, leader of the CZMT, presented the proposal when the Czech Republic Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Vaclav Petricek called on Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Harbours and Railways. Mr Venc said the Company and the bank were committed and would be waiting on the Government to study the proposals, adding that a team of officials from the Bank would soon be in Ghana for detailed discussions. He said his country was prepared to enhance the economic goals and trade relations with Ghana through strategic partnership agreements.

Dr Petricek said the Czech Republic was renewing its economic and trade relations with sister nations, especially in Africa and there was the need to have a partnership document that would cover future cooperation plans. He said his country was ready for Ghana's export saying: "My team is also in Ghana to enter into mutual agreements with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to promote economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Receiving the proposals, Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi expressed satisfaction with the Company's interest, which, he said, was shown in the short period during which CZMT had presented the proposal. He said the terms of the proposal would be studied as soon as possible and Cabinet approval sought. "With this and the strong assurance from the Czech Government, we hope to begin the feasibility studies next week," he said. The Minister said the Western Corridor Lines begin from Takoradi to Awaso through the western part of Brong Ahafo Region including places like Sunyani, Techiman and Wenchi to the North through Bamboi, Bole and Wa to Hamile. Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said the line had an economic potential of moving huge cargo from neighbouring Burkina Faso and also facilitating the movement of minerals such as bauxite and manganese.