Transnet leads $2 billion Nigerian railway deal from General Electric

As part of its plans to expand across sub-Saharan Africa.

General Electric, the US-based conglomerate, has announced that South Africa’s Transnet will now be leading a $2 billion (R27.8 billion) Nigerian narrow-gauge railway concession project.

This means that Transnet, which is a state-owned rail operator, will have a lion share of the project.

General Electric has handed over the leadership role in the project, which will see two railway lines connect the north of Nigeria to the south, to Transnet.

Without General Electric, the project now features Transnet, the Dutch terminal operator, APM Terminals, and the Chinese hydropower engineer, Sinohydro.The $2 billion deal plans to cover 3,500km of existing lines from Lagos, located in the south of the country, to the northern city of Kano.

The project is part of Transnet’s announcement in 2017 that it was seeking to expand operations across sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in Senegal, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

General Electric said line its handover of the project to Trasnet is in line with its decision to exit the transportation business from its portfolio.

It said Transnet has been a trusted company to General Electric for decades and expressed its confidence in the company and the consortium.