Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) and the China Railway Group Limited (CREC) on Tuesday sealed a US$1 billion deal to build railway infrastructure in the Horn of Africa country.
The new railway line, to be built by CREC, runs from Sebeta town, some 25 km west of Addis Ababa, to Meiso town east of Addis Ababa.
The railway line will stretch for 320 kilometers, the ERC said.
Getachew Betru, the ERC general manger and CREC vice president Zhou Mengbo signed the agreement in Addis Ababa.
“The corridor in this project will be connected to the line towards Djibouti in the future, and will have a great role for our export and import activities through the Djibouti port in the future.”
The project is part of Ethiopia’s five years development plan where it wants to construct more than 3,000 kilometers in railway lines across the country of about 80 million people.
Chinese government ambassador Gu said his government will give CREC all the necessary support during the implementation of the project.
“The Chinese government provides all the necessary support to CREC, not only to CREC but also to all Chinese companies that are operating in Ethiopia,” he said.
“With the joint efforts of the two sides, the project will be a success.”
The Chinese have promised to finish the project within three and half years.
“The project is new and the first in its kind in our country and it is vital for the economic growth,” Biru said.