30 April 2018

Nigeria: Ahead of White House Meeting, Abuja Touts Newly Agreed GE-Led Rail Project

Photo: @NGRPresident/Twitter
President Muhammadu Buhari arrives in Washington DC ahead of his four-day working visit to the United States.

Washington, DC — A few hours before Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's White House meeting April 30 with President Trump, the Presidency in Abuja announced agreement to build a new rail network, led by the U.S.-corporate giant General Electric.

"The first of 's Agreements has been signed, with an international consortium led by (comprising GE, SinoHydro, Transnet and APM Terminals), for the interim phase of the concession of Nigeria's narrow-gauge rail network," reads the first of six Tweets posted by the official @NGRPresidency account early Monday morning DC time. The project is expected to significantly boost passenger service and freight capacity, the Tweets said.

Below is the announcement, issued by GE and updated on April 29, on behalf of consortium members from China, South Africa and the Netherlands.

International Consortium Signs Interim Phase Agreement with FGN for Rail Concession

Consortium to proceed with execution of Interim Phase of the Rail Concession process

Lagos, 29th April 2018 – Following its award of preferred bidder status by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 2017, an International Consortium last Friday in Washington D.C, signed an agreement to proceed with the Interim Phase of the Nigerian narrow-gauge railway concession.

Initiated by General Electric, the world’s premier digital industrial company, the Consortium is comprised of SinoHydro, a leading infrastructure construction services corporation, Transnet, a leader in transportation and logistics infrastructure management and APM Terminals, a global port, terminal and intermodal inland services provider.

In the interim phase of the rail concession, Remedial Works will be carried out on part of the narrow- gauge rail line system to make it technically and economically operable. Additionally, a joint operation will be established between the Consortium and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) with an initial supply of 10 locomotives and 200 wagons to augment the existing rolling stock in Nigeria.

This program is expected to deliver an increase in the number of available locomotives, thus increasing the frequency of passenger and freight rail services. In addition, freight haulage capacity by the end of the first 12 months of the interim phase is expected to increase roughly ten-fold, from its current less than 50,000 metric tonnes per annum to about 500,000 metric tonnes per annum.

Speaking on the occasion, Lazarus Angbazo, CEO of GE Nigeria said “GE is committed to the sustainable development of Nigeria and as such we are delighted to have reached this crucial stage of the project to revamp and revitalize the country’s legacy rail infrastructure system. The Consortium looks forward to commencing execution of this Interim Phase with the continued support of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Transportation. As operations begin, our strong partners, such as Transnet and SinoHydro, will bring their strong operating and development skills to the forefront.”

Following the commencement of the Interim Phase, the Consortium will conclude negotiations with the Federal Government on the terms of the substantive phase of the concession agreement that will expand service to up to 200 locomotives and associated rolling stock. This will see to the comprehensive rehabilitation of Nigeria’s narrow-gauge rail infrastructure and the return of rail transport as a key element in enabling the country’s socio-economic development.

Chief Executive of Transnet International Holdings Mr Petrus Fusi said, “We are pleased to be a partner in this ground-breaking concession and look forward to the successful execution of the Interim Phase with the government and the opportunity to add value.”

Similarly, SinoHydro Chairman, Mr. Ding Zhengguo mentioned, “This announcement is a step closer to the opportunity to transform rail infrastructure and transportation logistics in Nigeria; a country with huge potential.” He added “We are very excited to partner with this resourceful consortium to deliver value.”

APM Terminals has been actively investing and participating in Nigeria's logistics infrastructure since 2006, and we are proud to be a part of this project to improve access for the Nigerian hinterland to the global logistics chain." – David Skov, Head of Terminals IMEA added to the statements.

According to the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, “This milestone project is an unprecedented commitment by the Federal Government of Nigeria, which, combined with the GE-led Consortium’s drive to modernizing Nigeria’s rail infrastructure, will add immense value to Nigeria’s long term economic growth and productivity.” “This will be an important catalyst for small and medium enterprises and a key provider of almost incalculable socio-economic benefits for the many Nigerian towns and villages through which the rail network passes. “he added.

About GE Transportation

At GE Transportation, we are in the business of realizing potential. We are a global technology leader and supplier of equipment, services and solutions to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. Our innovations help customers deliver goods and services with greater speed and savings using our advanced manufacturing techniques and connected machines. Our digital solutions, which provide data-driven insights to improve efficiency, utilize Predix – GE’s cloud-based operating system for the Industrial Internet. Established more than a century ago, GE Transportation is a division of General Electric Company that began as a pioneer in passenger and freight locomotives. That innovative spirit still drives GE Transportation today and is strengthened by our ability to serve customers more holistically through the GE Store – a global exchange of knowledge, technology and tools across all GE businesses that ultimately provides better outcomes for customers. GE Transportation is headquartered in Chicago, IL, and employs approximately 10,000 employees

About SinoHydro

Sinohydro Corporation Limited (SINOHYDRO) was founded in the early 1950s, originally well known’s as China’s first brand in hydropower construction, responsible for 65% of the large- and medium-scale hydropower stations in the country. However, after 60 years of expansion and development, SINOHYDRO has become a global enterprise, running diversified businesses from water conservancy and hydropower construction to project financing, design, implementation and operation in almost all kinds of infrastructures such as power, transportation, civil work, mining and real estate. SINOHYDRO is today a key brand of Power Construction Company of China Ltd. (POWERCHINA), the world’s top hydropower, electric power and infrastructure construction group in terms of size, strength and brand influence. In 2017, the Group ranked 190th in the “Fortune Global 500”, and also ranked 5th in the Engineering News-Record’s Top 250 Global Engineering Contractors and 10th in its Top 250 International Engineering Contractors list. It ranks first globally in the field of power construction, and is the world’s largest power engineering contractor.

SINOHYDRO, as the international flagship of POWERCHINA, has 6 regional offices abroad in Asia/Pacific, Africa, America, Eurasia and West Asia/North Africa to supervise the market development of 322 overseas offices in over 109 countries and employees more than 800 staff. The dynamic system ensures that SINOHYDRO can provide clients with best-quality one-stop service from project consultancy, financing, survey, design and engineering to construction, fabrication, installation and operation. The recent decade has witnessed SINOHYDRO' s rapid growth in business revenue, asset volume and asset structure diversification. As of the end of 2017, the total contract value of projects under construction exceeds $100 billion.

About Transnet

Transnet SOC Ltd is a transport and logistics company, wholly-owned by the Government of the Republic of South Africa. With about 60 000 employees and assets in excess of R240 billion ($20 billion), Transnet is uniquely positioned to provide integrated and seamless transport solutions for its customers in the bulk and manufacturing sectors. The company has invested over R250 billion ($25 billion) on revitalizing and expanding its rail ports and pipelines infrastructure. This includes buying and building over a thousand locomotives, construction of a new petroleum products pipeline and addressing the maintenance backlog, especially at its rail freight division. Transnet SOC Ltd. is made up of the following operating divisions: Transnet Freight Rail which transports bulk and containerised freight along 20,500km of which 1500km comprise heavy haul railway lines for export coal and export iron ore; Transnet National Ports Authority is responsible for the safe, efficient and effective functioning of the national ports system, which it manages in a landlord capacity; Transnet Port Terminals owns and operates 16 cargo terminal operations situated across seven South African ports. It provides cargo handling services for the container, bulk, automotive and break- bulk sectors; Transnet Pipelines, which transports a range of petroleum products and gas through 3 800 kilometres of underground pipelines traversing five provinces, thereby ensuring the security of supply of petroleum products to the inland market; and finally Transnet Engineering consists of eight product focused business units which provide services ranging from refurbishment, conversion and upgrades, to the manufacturing of rail-related rolling stock.

About APM Terminals

APM Terminals is a leading global port and cargo inland services provider with a presence in 69 countries, providing the world’s most geographically balanced global terminal network with 75 operating port and terminal facilities, eight new port projects under construction and an inland services network spanning 140 locations. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, the company works with shipping lines, importers/exporters, governments, business leaders and the entire global supply chain to provide solutions that help nations achieve their ambitions and businesses reach their performance goals. With a strong and long-standing presence on the African continent, APM Terminals is by far the leading port operator in Nigeria and Africa.

GE Media Contact: Yewande Thorpe, Head of Communications, GE Nigeria - yewande.thorpe@ge.com

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