Home » Turkish tycoon Ersin Arioglu’s Yapi Merkezi signs $1.9-billion contract to extend Tanzania railway

Turkish tycoon Ersin Arioglu’s Yapi Merkezi signs $1.9-billion contract to extend Tanzania railway

by Omokolade Ajayi

Turkish construction group, Yapi Merkezi Group, has signed a $1.9-billion contract with Tanzania to build the third phase of its planned railway project in the East African country.

Under the contract, the group will build a railway that will connect Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial hub on the Indian Ocean, to Mwanza, which shares a border with Kenya and Uganda.

Yapi Merkezi Group is a Turkish behemoth founded by multimillionaire businessmen Ersin Arioglu and Koksal Anadol. It maintains investments and active operations in the construction industry through its subsidiaries.

Over its half-century history, the group has implemented significant construction projects in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Algeria and Morocco.

The $1.9-billion deal with the Tanzanian railway authorities will include a railway network that will span 705 kilometers and cost $3.1 billion. The project will be implemented in five phases.

In line with the agreement, the Turkish construction behemoth will implement the third phase in 46 months after installing key accessories such as signalization, telecommunications and electrification.

Yapi Merkezi revealed that it is nearly finished with the construction of the first and second phase of the project and is already in talks with the authorities for phase four, which will run 167 kilometers.

The group lost the bid for phase five to a Chinese consortium that includes China Civil Engineering Construction and China Railway Construction.

The group’s chairman, Basar Arioglu, said: “The Tanzanian railway authorities were very satisfied with our quality, speed, and meticulous work on phase one and two, so they decided to entrust phase three to Yapi Merkezi as well. We also hope to sign phase four soon as a result of ongoing negotiations.” 

The deal between the Turkish construction group and the Tanzanian government reflects the strong interest that foreign companies presently have in African countries, including Tanzania.

Three weeks ago, Billionaires.Africa reported that the Egyptian multinational electrical company Elsewedy Electric will build a $40-million electrical-tool factory in Tanzania, a strategic move that will see the leading electrical company deepen its operations in East Africa.

The multimillion-dollar factory, which will be built in Kigamboni, a district in Dar es Salaam, will have the capacity to produce 15,000 kilometers of wire, 1,500 transformers and 100,000 electric meters per year. The project will come at a cost of TSZ92 billion ($40 million).

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