Mombasa, Kenya, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) on Tuesday signed an operations, maintenance and service agreement for the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railways (SGR).
KR Managing Director Atanas Maina told a media briefing in Mombasa that under the deal, CRBC will from Wednesday take over as operator of the 480 km SGR.
"CBRC's key functions, will be to run the railway system in accordance with schedule of the agreement with KR and also to undertake maintenance of the equipment and rail tracks to ensure that they are maintained in accordance with the prescribed manuals as well as the best global industry standards," Maina said.
Construction of the 3.8-billion-U.S. dollar project, with the bulk of financing provided by China, commenced in 2014. It is set to begin operations officially on Wednesday.
The agreement will run for a period of ten years.
KR will collect the revenues from the SGR and pay a fee to CRBC which will operate the railway.
Maina said that the Chinese firm was selected to operate the railway system because they are best suited for the job.
"We conducted a due diligence on them and given that they also constructed the SGR we decided to work with them," he added.
He noted that under the guidance of CRBC, the SGR is expected to operate efficiently and cost effectively so that it delivers benefits to the Kenyan public as well as cargo owners.
The pact also contains provisions for transfer of Chinese technology to Kenya.
"CRBC has agreed on bringing onboard locals, so that they learn from Chinese experts on the latest railway technology," said the managing director.
In total, CRBC is expected to hire 1,000 Kenyans in various positions, who will eventually take over the operations of the SGR after the contract lapses.