Reconstruction of Sena railroad in Mozambique does not meet quality standards

9 February 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 9 Feb – The chairman of Mozambican state rail and port company, Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), has said that not one of the 554 kilometres of the rebuilt Sena Railroad meets the standards of quality outlined in the concession contract.

According to daily newspaper Notícias, Rosário Muleia travelled along the entire line over the last two days and said that he believed that the Indian consortium would not have time to correct the errors and omissions in order to prevent the cancellation of the system’s concession contract.

Indian consortium Ricon, made up of state companies Rites and Ircon, was awarded the international tender launched in 2004 to manage the central railroad system, which includes the Machipanda line, from Beira to Zimbabwe, and the Sena line, from Beira to the coal basin of Moatize, in Tete province.

At the time, the rail management company, Companhia de Caminho de Ferro de Beira was set up, in which the Indian consortium has a 51 percent stake, with the remaining 49 percent in the hands of CFM.

The most serious omission found by Mualeia is related to laying ballast on several sections of the line which, as well as forcing cargo loads to be reduced, lead to level changes that, if ignored, could cause the trains to come off the tracks.

The chairman of CFM also noted the lack of drainage ditches that could lead to rain water flooding the line, dragging away earth, contaminating the ballast or even causing it to shift.

The contract for the Sena line also included reconstruction of 17 railway stations, as well as construction and/or refurbishment of houses for operational staff. This work has only been concluded at two stations.

In Caia, for example, construction work on the new station building began in August 2010, but as of last Monday only the foundations had been laid.

“My greatest sadness at the end of the visit is at not having seen a single kilometre, of the 554 that the line has, in a condition that meets the standards set out in the contract,” Rosário Mualeia said in conclusion. (macauhub)