The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway PPP project. This involves the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a limited access tolled expressway between the cities of Kampala, the capital, and Jinja.
The 77km expressway is intended to become the backbone of the national road network and the primary entry point of goods into Uganda and for transit to Rwanda, DRC and South Sudan. It will form part of the northern trade corridor from Mombasa in Kenya through to Kigali in Rwanda, which serves as a trade link to the sea for land-linked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.
The project is being tendered in two separate lots. “Lot 1” covers a 35km section of expressway from Kampala to Namagunga and an 18km bypass south of Kampala. “Lot 2” covers a 41km section of expressway from Namagunga to Jinja.
UNRA has not disclosed official cost estimates. Local media are using the benchmark of over US$1 billion. This makes sense given that eligible participants must have had an annual turnover equal or above US$1.5 billion for each of the past three financial years.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and the European Union (EU) are considering providing funding support and credit enhancement towards the development of Lot 1, which may amount to US$400 million.
The concession period is 30 years. At the end of the period, ownership of the expressway will be transferred to UNRA.
The deadline to submit statements of qualifications (SOQs) is 23 July 2018. UNRA intends to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to qualified respondents in October 2018. Following a period of competitive dialogue, final bids will be submitted in May 2019, with the aim of achieving commercial close with the successful bidder in November 2019.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is serving as UNRA‘sLead Transaction Advisor for the project.
The delivery of the project as a public-private partnership is part of the 2008-2023 National Transport Master Plan, which sets out the development of a national road network through PPPs, favoured by the government due to asset delivery and the long-term whole life consideration of operations and maintenance. In addition, the project is part of a regional integration initiative to improve trade within the wider East African community.