Posted on :Friday , 11th August 2017
Bechtel has won a major project to build and important highway link in Kenya. This will be the first long stretch of high-speed expressway in Kenya and will connect the capital, Nairobi, with the country’s main port, Mombasa. The project for the 473km connection is being supported with financing from US and UK sources. Once the new route is open to traffic, journeys between Nairobi will take just four hours by road, instead of 10 at present.
Construction will commence 2018. The project is of immense importance for East Africa as a whole and forms part of a wider programme to improve transport in the region. The new link will also improve connections for the landlocked nations of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, giving them a new route to the port of Mombasa. Work is also underway in parallel to improve the Nairobi to Mombasa rail connection.
“Bechtel has been working with the Government of Kenya for over two years to develop this strategic infrastructure priority project, which will support unlocking significant growth in Kenya and the region,” said Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s global infrastructure business. “We will bring global megaproject capability and local commitment to deliver the Nairobi-Mombasa expressway to our high standards of quality, safety and sustainability. We’ll create infrastructure and skills legacies by partnering with local companies, suppliers, and directly employing and training Kenyans.”
The high-speed expressway will have four lanes and 19 interchanges. The expressway will become a toll road and will provide a faster transit to support growth and industry. As part of the delivery of the project, Bechtel will employ over 4,000 people and provide training and capacity building. The project will also include master planning for three special economic zones along the alignment, and will be focused on developing business in coordination with the new SGR and local communities.
Kenya wildlife and environment is critical to the country. As a result, Bechtel says that the project will respect communities, environment, and wildlife, focusing on reducing potential impact through the implementation of an international standard Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.
Bechtel says that the project has been structured to achieve early completion, under a fast-track delivery model, with concurrent design and construction, and with the first section, from Mombasa Road – Kyumvi to ICT Konza, scheduled to open in 2019. US and UK export credit agencies such as the US Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and UK Export Finance, are expected to provide financing support.
“This contract shows continued international investor confidence in the Kenyan economy,” said Amjad Bangash, general manager for infrastructure - Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Bechtel. “Bechtel has more than 70 years’ experience building and project managing infrastructure projects in Africa and we are delighted to be working with the Government of Kenya to deliver this important expressway.”