Nacala Railroad in Mozambique due to be concluded by 2014

13 May 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 13 May – Construction of the Nacala Railroad in Mozambique, linking Moatize to the Northern Corridor and providing access to the port of Nacala, is due to be concluded in 2014. It will be the most feasible alternative for coal exports, given the limitations of the Sena Railroad, according to Mozambican daily newspaper, Notícias.

Since it started investing in Mozambique, Brazilian company Vale has considered exporting via Nacala, although a particular stage it has given up on the idea in the hope that the Sena Railroad would be viable for that purpose but, once the limitations of that line were confirmed, the company once again looked to Nacala.

Nacala has a deep water post with conditions for large draught ships to dock there, which make coal exports from the port possible.

Speaking Sunday at the official launch of mining operations of the Moatize mine, Vale’s chairman, Roger Agnelli, said that the project was currently being assessed and analysed, but noted that construction of the new railway represented the survival of the coal industry in Tete province.

Agnelli reiterated that the biggest current constraint was the limited transport capacity of the Sena railroad, which at the moment is only able to carry 4 million tons per year, despite repairs being carried out by Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, after the Indian concession holder was removed from the project.

As well as carrying coal, the geographic location of the Northern corridor is strategic for the logistics of Southern African countries, particularly Malawi, Zambia and Botswana, which are land-locked.

The railway, which will be some 900 kilometres long, is expected to cost US$2 billion. (macauhub)