Zambezi River, in Mozambique, needs to be navigable in order to transport large amounts of coal

29 September 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 29 Sept – The Zambezi River, in central Mozambique will need to be made navigable by 2012 in order for it to be possible to transport coal along it, the chairman of the Mozambican Association for Coal Development (AMDC) said Tuesday in Maputo.

With coal mining at Moatize, in the central province of Tete, carried out by mining companies Vale (Brazil) and Riversdale Mining (Australia), Mozambique expects to start producing over 20 million tons of coal per year in the next five years.

The country’s main challenge is now related to the logistics of distributing the coal, and short term solutions are the Sena railroad and the port of Beira, in central Mozambique.

“Within three years we will have used up the capacity of the port of Beira and so we need other complementary solutions,” said the chairman of the AMDC, Francisco Casimiro, on the sidelines of an international coal conference, held in Maputo.

One of the options involves the navigability of the Zambezi River, which has been under discussion for some time in Mozambique, as well as studies underway for the new Nacala corridor, in the northern province of Nampula.

According to the chairman of the AMDC, “the navigability of the Zambezi River would need an estimated investment of US$200 million,” despite the need to “finish some technical studies.”

A week ago, Brazilian mining company Vale concluded its acquisition of Nacala corridor company, Sociedade de Desenvolvimento do Corredor de Nacala, which is important for coal exports that, as of July 2011, it will start producing in Moatize, Tete province. (macauhub)