Addis - Djibouti electric rail to begin operations in September

Ethiopian Railway Corporation CEO Getachew Betru (right) defending the corporations' performance in parliament in Addis Ababa June 8, 2016. ANDUALEM SISAY | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

The 756km Addis Ababa – Djibouti electric railway will commence transportation of goods in September, official said.

“We have completed 95 per cent of the project. We are waiting for allocation of electricity for the line and will start full operation in September,” said Mr Getachew Betru, the CEO of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation.

The line is expected to boost Ethiopia’s trade by reducing the goods movement duration from two days to eight hours.

The Chinese

Currently, hundreds of trucks were transporting goods between the two countries, taking a total of four days for a round trip.

The $3 billion railway is financed by the Chinese Import Export Bank.

The line covers 656km from Addis Ababa to the Dewale border town, with the other 100km stretching to Djibouti's Doraleh Port.

Five years

Mr Getachew also disclosed that other electric railway line linking the north and the northeast Ethiopia with Djibouti's Tajura Port, was 30 per cent complete.

The state corporation, Mr Getachew also said, was working to increase the 32km Addis Ababa city light railway to 100km in next five years.

Mr Getachew, together with his parliamentary colleagues, defended the performance of the corporation.

Additional funds

The Auditor General’s report criticised the corporation for using additional funds without notifying the Finance ministry, poor documentation and for implementing projects before conducting environmental impact assessment, among others.

However, the corporation officials cited the urgency and the complexity of the projects as well as lack of previous experience in their defence.

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