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The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) US$40 million loan to Mozambique’s State-owned rail and port authority, Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique EP (CFM), will help neighbouring countries, including Zimbabwe, the regional bank has said.
The commitment by the AfDB is a corporate loan that will enable CFM to finance the purchase of rolling stock (locomotives, wagons and tank containers) for its main corridor, the Ressano Garcia railway line.
This line generates more than 90% of rail traffic volume and comprises 70% of CFM’s overall rail transport volume.
According to AfDB, the operation includes the acquisition of 10 3000/3 300 horsepower diesel-electric locomotives, 300 wagons and 120 tank containers. The funding will also cover a three-year maintenance programme for the purchased locomotive and for training CFM maintenance staff.
“It will strengthen intra-African trade and regional integration by increasing capacity and the volume of goods transported from neighbouring countries by the most efficient route, with Mozambique serving its neighbouring countries of South Africa, Eswatini, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia, providing them with a port for exporting their products and importing goods,” the bank said last week.
“The project will achieve net carbon savings of 744,511 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide over the period 2023-2035. Local communities along the corridors, including women, will have better access to markets to trade their goods and services. Strategically located in southern Africa, Mozambique is arguably the main logistics gateway for countries in the region’s interior, such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Eswatini.”
The bank said Mozambique’s three main corridors offered relatively shorter options over road and rail networks for transporting freight from neighbouring countries and providing access to world markets for exports and imports.
“The goods transported over these corridors are mainly raw and processed materials, agricultural products, containerised freight and bulk liquids,” the bank said.
“The Maputo corridor, where the rolling stock purchased under this project is to be deployed, is essentially used to export mineral commodities (such as bulk magnetite, ferrochrome, chromium ore and coal) from the mining belt of north-eastern South Africa through the port of Maputo, which provides the shortest seaport access.”
AfDB also plans to mobilise an additional US$30 million for the project from other potential lenders with the implementation period of both loans expected by year-end.