- July 1, 2021
- Posted in DRIVE DESIGN
CFM, as part of a US$200 million investment, has already started to replace tracks on the railway line connecting the port city of Beira to Machipanda, on the border with Zimbabwe.
In a media briefing in Bulawayo on Thursday, CFM president and board chairman Mr. Miguel Matabel said the additional US$60 million will be used for equipment needed for the locomotives and wagons.
“We are to receive four locomotives from India to Beira for the Beira-Harare route. There are some wagons moving from the South (Maputo- Chikwarakwara), we have brought 150 wagons to support the business of wheat and chrome of Zimbabwe. In terms of the equipment, we are going to use for the locomotives and wagons will cost us about US$20-30 million.
“We are buying six locomotives and the wagons will cost more at around US$30 million, hence for this kind of investment we are doing we expect the return of business,” said Mr. Matabel.
He said from the discussion they had, the aim was to find a way of doing business and find a strategy that they can use to make sure that both countries benefit their clients.
“We looked at what we have in terms of wagons and locomotives, and how can we instruct our officials to operate on operational sides. We hope that the resources we are pledging will help our fellows.
“We also discussed the other issues related to the concrete slippers. We have a factory in Beira and another in Maputo which can aid in the need for maintenance of our lines or tracks,” said Mr. Matabel.
He said unlike the old tracks, which could bear up to 40 kilograms per metre, the new ones could take up to 45 kilogrammes, thus, boosting production and productivity. Mr. Matabel said the strategic agreement seeks to address the number of trucks that were flooding and damaging roads, hence the collaboration between the two railways.
In terms of the Beira to Machipanda line, he said they were starting from Dondo to Machipanda doing the rehabilitation of that line and replacement of the slippers.
Mr. Matabel said the Covid-19 pandemic had negatively impacted the work, but they were targeting to finish by the end of next year.
NRZ board chairman Advocate Martin Dinha said Mozambique was the country’s strategic partner as there was the need for access to the ports to reach out to markets for imports and exports.
He said they were looking at operational challenges that the management was facing in terms of the movement of goods and how they will also be able to transport people post Covid-19 through to Beira and Maputo.
“They have committed more support to ensure that the gaps that we have as NRZ are resolved. It shows brotherliness and the ability to assist each other in need. As we improve the efficiencies of NRZ we are drawing on the efficiencies of our bigger brother to able to move on.”
To achieve a turnaround, at the NRZ Strategic Plan launch in March, the parastatal said it was in need of at least 40 locomotives, 300 wagons, and 300 coaches. One locomotive is estimated to costs around US$3 million.