The first lot for Mojo – Hawassa Expressway project, which stretches for 93 kilometers, is awarded to a South Korean construction company, Keangnam Enterprises Limited, by Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA). Workeneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia’s Minister for Transport, explained the firm won the bid for the first lot of the entire 209 kilometers.
Even if Keangnam has won the bid the agreement between ERA and the company is not yet concluded.
The project is going to be financed partially from a loan that will be secured from the South Korean Government. The difference will be covered by a state funding and the project is expected to commence in the current fiscal year.
Upon completion a toll road is expected to connect the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, with the capital of the State of Southern, Nations, Nationalities and Peoples.
Samsun Wondimu, Public Relations Head at the Authority, explained Keangnam is going to handle the first phase of the project that stretches from Meki to Batu (Zeway).
For the first segment of the entire project that is 56 kilometers, Mojo – Meki road section, African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a USD 126 million loan. The federal government on the other hand is going to contribute USD 99.1 million to fund costs, local taxes, resettlement compensation and other expenses.
In addition to this AfDB is also going to provide USD 2.44 million for the purpose of helping ERA build its capacity.
Tender is also floating for a toll road project that stretches from Mojo to Meki, Samson noted.
The entire Mojo – Hawassa Highway project is going to be 209 kilometers and the first phase stretches for 93 kilometers. The first phase is going to be new asphalt road.
The remaining 116 kilometers is expected to be financed by a loan from the World Bank, for the bank has promised to finance the project. The project s going to stretch from Batu (Zeway) to Hawasssa. This phase of the project is also divided into two segments; Zeway-Arisi Negele and Arisi Negele-Hawassa.
The entire project is said to be part of the Mombasa – Nairobi – Addis Ababa highway project. The later project is said to boost Ethiopia’s agri – business and regional trade among the countries it crosses through.
Workneh also explained the government is working on the process of implementing the Adama – Awash toll road which is an extension of Addis – Adama toll road in the Addis – Djibouti corridor.
He furthered the Addis – Awash project will be commenced in the next fiscal year. The government is looking for financers or the realization of the project, he added.
The Ministry of Transport is also exploring for possibilities to include the Addis-Adama toll way and the Lebu-Akaki-IT Park (Goro) outer ring roads in the toll roads system. According to Capital, Akaki – IT park road project will connect the express way to the Northern and North eastern parts of the city. This project is going to be 14.5 kilometers.
On the other hand Akaki – Lebu project, which is 13.6 kilometers, will connect Addis – Adama toll road with the Western and South – Western parts of the capital city.