Shipping of Mozambique’s Moatize coal via Nacala port is viable but costly option

10 August 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 10 Aug – The management of Mozambique’s Northern Development Corridor (CDN) welcomes the possible shipment of coal from the Moatize mines through the deepwater port of Nacala but this option is not one of the venture’s priorities, the company’s CEO has said.

Fernando Couto, CDN’s CEO, told the Noticias daily newspaper that viability studies on exporting coal via Nacala show it will be a costly option. He also noted that if all pipeline coal ventures in Mozambique go ahead there will be insufficient ports in the country to ship coal produced.

The northern port of Nacala is seen by mineral companies as a optimum location to ship coal from. But studies on the building of a rail link to the port, or one via Malawi, have indicated there is a need for significantly high expenditure on such infrastructures.

Brazilian mining giant Vale began an international race to develop coal reserves in northern Mozambique when it was granted a concession to develop the old reserves of Carbomoc. Vale’s open-cast undertaking will last 35 years with an annual production of around 11 million tons.

Australia’s Riversdale says its plans to produce about 20 million tons of coal from its Mozambican project. Other ventures in the northern province of Tete are set to be approved and the current plan to transport coal from these is to use the Sena Railroad, due to be renovated by September and with capacity to carry a maximum 6 million tons of coal between Moatize and the port of Beira. (macauhub)