Beira — The public ports and rail company, CFM, on Monday inaugurated the new coal terminal at the port of Beira.
The new terminal was constructed in partnership with the Brazilian mining giant Vale and Rio Tinto, two companies involved in mining the vast coal reserves in Tete province.
The new 200 million US dollar terminal was officially opened by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza. It has the capacity to handle six million tonnes of coal per year.
President Guebuza said that the construction of this terminal would solve part of the logistical challenge of exporting the country's huge coal reserves.
The President attended the inauguration along with the country's former President, Joaquim Chissano. Rio Tinto was represented by Doug Ritchie, whilst Mourilo Pereira was there on behalf of Vale.
The new terminal can receive 600 metre long trains composed of 42 wagons. The terminal can store 300,000 tonnes of coal and has the capacity to load cargo onto ships capable of holding 35,000 tonnes.
Speaking at the inauguration, President Guebuza said that the completion of the new terminal reiterated the determination of the government to solving the logistical challenges faced in getting the coal to market. He stated that "even though there are still limitations, there is a capacity to identify and remove these bottlenecks"
He said that the new terminal is testimony to the political commitment to strategic public-private partnerships to contribute to improved efficiency in national development.
The President pointed out that CFM is currently working on reconstructing the Sena railway line, which is the main logistical corridor for the transport of coal and other cargo between the Moatize coal basin in Tete province and Beira.
He stated that "this rehabilitation is estimated to cost about 45 million US dollars, and began in March. It will increase the capacity of the Sena railway line to about 6.5 million tonnes per year and will be followed by a further phase to increase the capacity to 12 million tonnes per year.
The government is also looking for ways to accelerate the development of the port of Beira, with a view to increasing its capacity to handle coal to 20 million tonnes per year. Furthermore, another coal terminal is planned to be built at Nacala along with a railway line linking Moatize with Nacala.
The President added that "in the pipeline are other projects to give us more options for transporting minerals and other cargo. These are huge challenges that we must face and overcome. For this, the principle of public-private partnerships will be fundamental, partnerships based on a strong legal and regulatory framework".