Mozambican government may cancel contract with railroad management consortium

17 July 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 17 July – The Mozambican government could cancel its contract with the Nacala development Corridor (CDN), a Mozambican and US consortium, due to difficulties in the running of the Cuamba-Lichinga railroad, in northern Mozambique.

The Mozambican Transport and Communication Minister, António Munguambe who recently visited Niassa province, said that the consortium, which ahs a 15-year contract, was finding it difficult to provide trains linking Cuamba to Lichinga at least once a month.

Since January, just one goods train has made the journey, which is much used by the local population, which has led several investors to stop operating in the provincial capital of Niassa, Lichinga, due to the high cost of road transport and the price of products on the market.

Munguambe highlighted the fact that when the government granted the northern port and railroad system to the consortium, it expected an improvement in performance, as compared to Caminhos-de-Ferro de Moçambique (CFM).

Recently a CDM manager said that the irregular traffic on the railroad was due to a lack of profitability worsened by the high cost of renting trains, estimated to be 400 euros per day, without including the cost fo fuel and subsidies for crew. (macauhub)