Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director, Allen Kagina is confident that UNRA together with its partners can deliver a world class expressway, the first of its kind in East Africa.
Kagina spoke this in the Preliminary Information Memorandum for the Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain & Transfer of the Kampala Jinja Expressway Project.
UNRA, established under the UNRA Act, No.15 of 2006 and operational since 2008, is the Project Sponsor. As an independent corporate body, UNRA’s mandate is to develop and manage the national road network in an efficient and sustainable manner and advise the Government on general road policy.
Existing Government of Uganda, UNRA and the East African Community policies give general and specific support to national roads and corridor improvement to address strategic and national needs for trade facilitation, integration of the East African Community, relieve congestion and to improve the levels of service for road users.
The Kampala Jinja Expressway is one of UNRA’s top priorities for investment and benefits from strong support from the Government and development partners such as IFC, the European Union, the Agence Francaise de Developpement and the African Development Bank.
This Project has a vital role to play in achieving both UNRA’s vision as set out in the UNRA Strategic Plan and the Government’s Vision 2040 partly through significant infrastructure investment in core sectors targeted for accelerating economic growth. The Project is expected to generate up to 1500 jobs during construction and 250 jobs during operations, majority of which will be taken up by Ugandans. During operations, a journey time saving of up to 70mins is expected between Kampala and Jinja.
“In developing this Project, UNRA has been very keen to take into account views of investors, contractors and operators in developing the Project structure, which is explained in this PIM. In order to ensure value is preserved and affordability maintained, our proposal is to tender this Project as a design, build, finance, operate and maintain, contract where toll revenue risk will be taken by UNRA, supported by the Ministry of Finance. We recognize that a contract, where payments are linked to the availability of the expressway, presents the best option for a robust competition and attaining value for money.
We want to see an expressway which is responsive to the needs of the traveling public across the region and for this to happen, we need a partner with vision, a long term plan and the best team to deliver it.
We want to encourage ambition that is deliverable. We are heavily investing in the national road network, and are looking to bidders to bring forward innovative plans for financing and implementing the Project, including investment of their own or in collaboration with others, to maximize the Project benefits. There will be scope for effective risk control through design, construction method, and capital and operations costs assessed in whole life terms.
At UNRA, we are confident that our strong partnership with the Government of Uganda (“GoU”) and our development partners will help to bring a stronger focus to the concession and that, combined with the skills, investment and innovation brought by the successful bidder, we can together deliver a world class expressway, the first of its kind in East Africa.
As we edge ever closer to the formal launch of the procurement, I look forward to the comments received that will assist the Project team to refine our plans so that we gain maximum value from an efficient procurement process,” Allen Kagina said.
Kampala Jinja Expressway will be the first of its kind investment in East Africa and is expected to cost $1.1bn.
UNRA is proposing to construct a Greenfield limited access tolled expressway between Kampala and Jinja to relieve the current congestion on the existing Kampala Jinja Highway and to cater for future growth.
The Project is referred to as the Kampala Jinja Expressway PPP Project.
In achieving the objectives of the Project, UNRA will be seeking bids from the private sector to design, build, finance, operate and transfer a limited access tolled expressway with a design speed of up to 120kph between Kampala and Jinja. The Project will comprise a 77km mainline (the “Kampala Jinja Mainline”) and a 18km bypass to the south of Kampala city (the “Kampala Southern Bypass”). The Project will be carried out in 2 phases:
Phase 1: 33km of the Kampala Jinja Mainline commencing at Kampala and terminating at Namataba (“Section 1”)
and the Kampala Southern Bypass (“Section 2”) and Section 1 and Section 2 together being “Phase 1”; and
Phase 2 : 43.7km of the Kampala Jinja Mainline commencing at Namataba and terminating at Jinja.
Progressive economic growth has seen an increased transport need and an influx of newly registered personal vehicles, public transport and commercial vehicles. Consequently the increased traffic on account of economic growth leads to capacity restrictions particularly between Kampala and Mukono leading to delays and unreliability issues not only on the existing highway but also on the surrounding local road network and the Kampala Northern Bypass.
The average journey time recorded between the 24km Kampala to Mukono section is about 120mins. This delay affects trade, commuting, the environment and vehicle operating costs.
However, while existing public transport services (matatus and buses) are well used, current forecasts shows that if capacity is not improved, by 2037 there will be a complete breakdown in transport reliability along the corridor.
The Kampala Jinja Expressway is therefore being implemented to relieve the current and future capacity constraints on the network.
The PPP Project is to be tendered out with an availability based payment mechanism with collected tolls passed through to the GoU. This innovative approach, the first of its kind in Sub Saharan Africa will provide the necessary incentives for performance both for the public and private sector.
The Project will form a critical part of the Ugandan backbone network and a critical section of the East African Community (EAC) Northern Corridor.