President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to travel to China with an aim to secure Ksh380 billion loan for the funding of Naivasha-Kisumu standard gauge railway.
His travel follows an agreement he secured with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on the construction of the SGR.
According to sources privy to the President’s travel, Uhuru is expected to be out of the country within the first two weeks of April.
Business Daily reported on Friday that Transport PS Esther Koimett and acting Kenya Railways MD Phillip Maingi have been holding talks with the Chinese government regarding the loan in the past week.
This will be Uhuru’s second visit to Beijing, China with an agenda to secure the loan to finance Phase 3 of the SGR after a failed attempt to have the loan approved last year.
It is reported that at the time, the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping refused to approve the loan on the grounds that President Uhuru had not conducted a clear commercial viability study on the entire project as well as he was yet to secure a financing deal with Uganda.
Analysts claim that the President is now confident that he will secure the approval of the loan as he has already won over Uganda’s government on the same.
Kenya is expected to complete the construction of the second phase of the project running from Nairobi to Naivasha by mid this year.
The first phase of the project from Mombasa to Nairobi was commissioned last year at $3.8 billion (Sh380 billion).
The Naivasha to Kisumu line is estimated to cost Kenya at least $3.6billion (Sh360 billion) before the country embarks on another 107km line connecting Kisumu to Malaba border with Uganda at an estimated $1.7 billion (Sh170 billion).