Mozambican contracts signed for Macuse port and railway

The Mozambican government and the company Thai Moçambique Logística signed in Maputo on Friday two concession contracts for the construction of a new mineral port at Macuse, in the central province of Zambezia, and the railway that will link Macuse to the Moatize coal basin in Tete province.

The agreements were signed by Mozambican Transport Minister Gabriel Muthisse and by Premchai Karnasuta, President of the Italian-Thai Development Company, the major shareholder in Thai Mocambique Logistica.

The total value of the port and the railway is put at five million US dollars. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016 and will last for five years.

The railway will be 525 kilometres long, which is significantly shorter than the existing Sena railway from Moatize to Beira, which is 578 kilometres long.

The line to Macuse will provide a much needed alternative route to the sea for Mozambique’s coal exports. The current capacity of the Sena line is just 6.5 million tonnes a year. Upgrading could increase this to 20 million tonnes a year by 2015 – but projections from the mining companies indicate that within the next decade coal exports could be running at 100 million tonnes a year.

The Italian Thai Development Company holds 60 per cent of the shares in Thai Mocambique Logistica. 20 per cent is held by Mozambique’s publicly owned ports and rail company, CFM, while the remaining 20 per cent is owned by the private consortium CODIZA (Zambezia Integrated Development Corridor).

Speaking shortly after signing the contracts, Muthisse said that the commitment to building the new port and railway shows how seriously the Mozambican government regards the question of coal logistics.

“This is a very important project”, he said, pointing out that Macuse is closer to the Tete coal mines than the port of Beira. “This means it has a great potential for establishing itself as one of the main, if not the main, export rout for the coal of Tete province”.

The new line, he said, will complement the upgrading of the Sena line, as well as the line being built across southern Malawi to connect with the northern line to the port of Nacala.

“All this is to ensure that Mozambican coal reaches international markets in the most competitive way possible”, Muthisse stressed.

Post published in: Africa News

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