Government says upgrading and reconstruction of the 201 kilometre railway line from Limbe to Nsanje would roll out after the project’s detailed engineering designs are released in October this year.
A monitoring and evaluation report from the Ministry of Transport and Public Works seen by Nyasa Times says Comesa-Eac and Sadc have availed $16.4 million to produce the designs.
The report says track rehabilitation and renewal to the 18 tonne axle load, bridges and culverts from Limbe to Makhanga will be through by December 2015, Makhanga-Bangula December 2016, Bangula-Nsanje December 2017 and Nsanje to Marka December 2017.
The multi-million dollar project will also include rehabilitation and reconstruction of Maraka, Nsanje, Bangula, Luchenza and Limbe stations and installation of signalling and communication system along the railway line.
Earlier the ministry’s Principal Secretary Collins Kumangirana had said on Mozambique has offered to further link the railway from Nsanje to a network which will see goods from Malawi going by rail to Beira.
“Our studies to run the railway reconstruction project to Nsanje are through what we are doing now is prepare for a tendering process which will identify a contractor for this project.
“On the other hand Mozambique has assured us that they are ready to construct another railway line to Nsanje after Malawi does so from Limbe to the Southernmost district, so it is a process which we know will greatly benefit the country in exporting and importing goods,” said Kumangirana.
The development follows an offer in 2008 by the Mozambican Railway Company (CFM) to reconstruct the railway between Blantyre and Villa Nova de Fronteira in Mozambique via Nsanje.
The then CFM Chief Executive Officer Rui Cirne Fonseca they were waiting for Malawi Government’s response after the offer was made some weeks ago.
He said CFM was constructing the 45km stretch of railway up to Nsanje but have asked the Malawi Government to let them continue with the 100 kilometres up to Blantyre. Malawi had not responded.
Fonseca said the project would cost CFM around US$11 million to complete and that it was vital since it would ensure faster delivery of goods to the port.
“The advantage is that we will be assured of cheaper costs of transport coupled with efficiency as the railway would connect to the town of Moatize to Beira making it faster for our clients in Malawi and us to receive goods in time,” said Fonseca then.
Kumangirana said government aim at reducing transport costs by making rail transport safe, efficient and competitive through rehabilitation and expansion of the railway line and related infrastructure.
“We will create linkages to ports, industrial sites and regional and international markets, focusing on those that are linked to the priority crops and clusters,” said Kumangirana.
The seaport of Beira handles several types of goods like fertilizer, maize, fuel, tobacco, tea and sugar from Malawi, DRC, Zambia and ZimbabweFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :