Mozambique issues new deadline for completion of rail line rehabilitation

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The Mozambican government has given a deadline to the contractor and the supervisor of the much-delayed refurbishment and expansion of the Sena rail line linking the Beira port with coal mines in the Tete province to explain the failure to comply.

APA reports that work to expand the Sena line, valued at 163 million euros, aim to increase the transport capacity from the current 6.5 to 20 million tons of cargo per year.

During the visit made to the site last week by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, the official considered, however, that the works were technically being carried out in a reasonable manner.

The works consist of the rehabilitation, upgrading and construction of some stretches of the Sena railway line in order to enable the infrastructure to cater for future challenges in the transport of coal, various cargo and passengers.

Mozambique’s ports and railways company (CFM) was asked to complete the upgrading of the line after the government cancelled a contract it had with India’s Rites and Ircon (RICON) when the consortium had failed to deliver the project despite many delays.

The line was initially scheduled for completion in 2013 to carry coal from Tete where the likes of Vale and Rio Tinto are busy developing mines which will serve Mozambique as well as for export.

After the upgrading is completed, the line is expected to be able to carry around 6 million tonnes of coal per year. Mesquita said a further upgrading was planned to increase capacity on the line to around 19 million tonnes.

The second phase of the line upgrading will coincide with the building of a new coal terminal at Beira with a similar capacity, which should be completed by 2015.

Brazil’s Vale began its first exports from the Moatize coal mine in September and it has already used the Sena line to move its coal to Beira, but Mesquita said the shipment was transported at much slower speed than was required to move larger volumes.

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