Maputo, Mozambique, 22 May – The executive director of the southern division of the Mozambican railroad company (CFM-Sul), Joaquim Zucule, has said that work to refurbish the railroad line linking Maputo to South Africa will be concluded at the end of July.
Work on the line, estimated to cost US$20 million, will make it possible to increase the number of weekly trains from 30 to 35, a figure expected to rise to 60 in 2008.
Cargo transport in 2007 is expected to reach 4.5 million tons , 2 million of which will be general cargo, such as sugar, granite and iron ore and the other 2.5 million tons will be coal and magnetite.
The port of Maputo is the closest to Withbank for exporting coal and to Phalaborwa for exporting magnetite.
According to Zucule, there are some 170 million tons of magnetite at Phalaborwa, which are almost exclusively bought by China and which will begin to be exported via the port of Maputo.
CFM-Sul expect that cargo on the Ressano Garcia line may double in 2009 to nine million tons.
Zucule said that he believed the refurbishment of the line would make it possible for it to be used by Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to export their products.
10 locomotives imported from India will go into service by June and a further 42 are being prepared in South Africa by the Xitimela company, in which CFM-Sul have a 67 percent stake.
Officials at CFM-Sul are still dealing with refurbishing the carriages as of a total 2,100, just 600 are in operation.
20 wagons per month are also being refurbished and CFM-Sul expects that at least 150 can be repaired. However, another 600 wagons need repairing abroad.
CFM-Sul is also preparing to invest US$2.5 million in buying more carriages from Portugal, which are due to be delivered in October this year, in order to improve the passenger transport system on the same line.
The World Bank granted a US$7 million loan to CFM-Sul for the project to refurbish the Ressano Garcia line. (macauhub)