ROUTE OF 500-KM MACUSE-MOATIZE RAILWAY LINE TO BE EXTENDED WESTWARDS BY ANOTHER 120 KM

MAPUTO, The projected new railway line from the Moatize coal basin in the western Mozambican province of Tete to a new deep-water port at Macuse in Zambezia Province, is to be extended westwards by another 120 kilometres to the region of Chitima, says Abdul Carimo, the chairperson of the Zambezia Development Corridor (CODIZA).

The project project is 60 per cent owned by Italian Thai Development Company of Thailand, 20 per cent by CODIZA and 20 per cent by Mozambique’s Sate-owned port and rail company, CFM.

The initial design of the railway was for a 500-km line from Macuse to Moatize, but mining companies whose concessions are in Chitima, supported by banks with interests in these investments, called for the extension to Chitima.

The Maputo daily, Noticias, reported Monday that Carimo said the initial project also had to be altered because mistakes had been discovered in indicating the area it would cover. Making the necessary corrections took time, he said, which had delayed the launch of the project.

The alterations would give greater credibility to the Moatize-Macuse rail and port project, said Carimo, who expects construction of the railway to begin next year.

The total cost of the railway and port was put at about 2.3 billion US dollars, before the agreement on the extension to Chitima. The new port at Macuse will have the capacity to receive ships of more than 80,000 dwt. Although designed mainly for Mozambican coal exports, it would also be used by landlocked countries such as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe for their trade.

The railway to Macuse will be the third route for exporting Moatize coal. The other two are the lines to the central Mozambican port of Beira, and the line to the northern port of Nacala-a-Velha which cuts across southern Malawi.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK