Maputo, Mozambique, 21 Feb – The southern African region has a market and needs that justify the installation of a rail truck industry in Mozambique, the Minister for Transport and Communications, Paulo Zucula said cited by the Mozambican press.
The minister was speaking in relation to the recent signing of an agreement to set up an industrial unit in the country by Mozambique and Portugal, as part of the official visit to Mozambique by the Portuguese minister for Transport and Communications.
No dates were given for the unit to be set up, but Zucula noted that Mozambique was interested in making it happen as soon as possible because, as well as the prospect of providing the country with the rail trucks it needs to deal with transporting coal mined in Tete province, there is an interest in meeting regional rail transport demands.
Whilst Botswana is discovering new coal reserves, countries such as neighbouring Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi are increasing their investment in railway systems, when South Africa is currently the only country capable of supplying rail trucks to deal with the predicted demand.
Under the terms of the deal signed by Zucula and António Mendonça, Mozambique’s rail and port management company, Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) and Portugal’s rail equipment maintenance company, Empresa de Manutenção de Equipamento Ferroviário de Portugal (EMEF) are responsible for setting up the company.
“We believe that in the next 40 to 50 years there will be no market problems for rail trucks, as only South Africa produces them, at a time when we have information about so many orders that they are unable to meet them anymore. Therefore, there is a market to make the company viable,” said Zucula, for whom investing in Mozambique is the same as investing in the Southern African Development Community.
Mozambican government projections point to the country needing at least 600 trucks over the next five years to deal with the needs of transporting coal from Tete starting in the middle of this year. (macauhub)