THE running of the Kenya-Uganda Railways has finally been handed over to the Rift Valley Railways (RVR), after it (RVR) paid the two governments $5m in concession fees.
Kenya received $3m while Uganda got $2m.
RVR beat the December 15 deadline for the 25-year concession by two hours.
The lead transaction advisor, Vishal Agarwal, said at the handover ceremony in Nairobi that the concession fee had been of concern to the two governments.
He disclosed that RVR would embark on revitalising the two corporations.
Agarwal added that the near collapse of the concessioning agreement came after one of the partners, Green Road of South Africa, pulled out.
He explained that plans to turn the KRC and URC around had started.
He revealed that RVR would spend Ksh100m to upgrade the facilities in the first phase of five years.
Kenyaâ€™s transport minister, Chirau Mwakwere, and the finance minister, Amos Kimunya, received the money on behalf of Kenya, while Uganda was represented by Kip Karinjira, the head of the parastatal unit in the finance ministry.
RVR gave a final list of consortia partners as demanded by the two governments.
The partners are Sheltham Corporation with a 60% stake, Trans-Century, 20% and Babcock and Brown (Australia) 10% and ICDC Investments 10%.
RVR managing director, Roy Puffett, said Babcock and Brown involvement was a boost to the consortium.
â€œBabcock and Brown is a major rail, port, logistics and infrastructure operator around the world.
â€œThe companyâ€™s expertise will help RVR improve the turnaround at the of Mombasa port,â€ he asserted.
Agarwal said the new partnership had received full approval of the two governments and the main financiers, the International Finance Corporation and KfW of Germany.
â€œWe have managed to get significant local participation in the deal which is unique in itself, and it will give the Kenya public a major say in the concession,â€ he explained.
He added that the shareholding had been structured to allow for future investment by Ugandan investors.
Kenya, Uganda rail operator pays up