Emirates SkyCargo has flown an 84 tons load of heavy machinery and steel parts for the new Jinja Bridge being built across the Nile River in Uganda. The UAE-based passenger and freighter aircraft operator was awarded the charter by a Japanese construction company to carry the load from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Entebbe via the cargo carrier’s hub in Dubai.
The bridge, located at Jinja near the source of the Nile, is expected to improve transport flows on the Northern Corridor route which links Uganda and neighbors Burundi, Rwanda and eastern DRC to Kenya. To carry the cargo, Emirates SkyCargo used one of its Boeing 777 freighters.
Ravishankar Mirle, Emirates vice president, cargo commercial, Far East and Australasia, said: “This was a very high profile charter for what clearly is a very important project in Uganda. Our field teams in Japan and Uganda along with our Dubai based Freighter and Charters and hub operations teams worked very hard to ensure the success of this charter.”
The bridge is located at Njeru, a suburb of Jinja, on the Victoria Nile, between the source of the Nile to the south and Nalubaale Power Station to the north. This location is adjacent and immediately north of where the Uganda Railways line crosses the Victoria Nile. It is located on the proposed Kampala–Jinja Expressway, approximately 82 kilometres (51 mi), by road, east of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.
The total cost of the New Jinja Bridge is budgeted at US$125 million. The government of Japan will finance 80% of the cost, in the form of a soft loan of US$100 million at an annual interest rate of 0.01%, repayable in ten years, but extendable to forty years. The government of Uganda will fund the remaining US$25 million (20%), out of its own coffers.
In November 2013, the Uganda National Roads Authority awarded the construction contract to Zenitaka Corporation of Japan. Construction is expected last four years. On 28 January 2014, the construction was launched by the President of Uganda.