KPC has funded the rehabilitation of the Nairobi-Nanyuki Railway line in a move that will see increased economic activities in Mount Kenya and Northern regions.
The Kshs 1.8 billion, used to support rehabilitation of the Nairobi-Nanyuki Meter Gauge Railway, was part of the KPC’s remittance to the exchequer in form of special dividends.
Making the announcement in Kiganjo, Nyeri County last week, during a stakeholder engagement forum, KPC Managing Director Dr Macharia Irungu said that KPC was happy that the Kshs 1.8 billion advanced to the National Treasury as a special dividend was set to open up several economic opportunities for the region.
“We are here to support Kenya Railways as they complete the rehabilitation of the line from Nairobi to Nanyuki. The economic benefits of this refurbished line will go beyond the Mount Kenya region to other areas such as Isiolo, Samburu and neighbouring areas,” Dr Macharia said adding that the rehabilitated line will contribute significantly to the realization of the government’s Big 4 agenda.
Kenya Railways is expecting to generate over Kshs 370.4 million revenue per year from the revived line. The corporation has finalised negotiations on proposed rates with the business community for the cargo and passenger trains with the bulk of the revenue coming from the commercial operations.
Petroleum products being the key cargo, KRC will be charging about Kshs 82,000 for a single 50-tonne of fuel tank with a tonne costing Kshs 1,640. Vivo Energy Kenya, which is the anchor client for commercial trains, intends to transport 14 million litres of fuel every month from Nairobi to their depot in Nanyuki.
“Our Nanyuki depot has a capacity of 11.5 million litres and ferrying fuel via the railway will bridge the supply gap as only five million litres capacity is being utilised,” Genesio Mugo, Vivo’s Stakeholder and Government Relations Manager, told participants.
Speaking during the same forum with businesses intending to use the railroad, Kenya Railways head of commercial operations James Siele said commercial trains will generate Kshs365 million.
“In the first year, we will be handling a total of 106,000 tonnes of fuel, 94,000 tonnes of conventional cargo and 24,000 livestock for imports category and export goods amounting to 50, 000 tonnes,” said Siele.
Further, investors ferrying livestock from Laikipia County will be paying Kshs730 per tonne of cattle and Kshs465 per tonne of small animals while other cargo such as fertilisers, cereals, hardware and farm products among other general cargo will be ferried to and from Nairobi at a cost of Kshs1,400 per tonne.
Investors ferrying imports stocked in Nairobi will be paying Kshs20,000 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container from Nairobi to Nanyuki while a trip from Nairobi to Nanyuki will cost passengers Kshs200 and Kshs1,000 for a first-class coach.
Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga said the revival of the line will see the idling industrial plots around Kiganjo developed by investors in the container business.
“Kiganjo was sent to its deathbed when we lost the line. Many businesses closed down after the collapse of the line,” said Kahiga urging the local residents and corporates such as Kiganjo Kenya Cooperative Creameries plant to take advantage of the line to improve their businesses and by extension the lives of the local people.
The event was hosted by Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga and attended by his counterparts Ndiritu Murithi (Laikipia) and Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua).
The rehabilitated 240-kilometre line’s official launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to take place soon.