Maputo — The Brazilian mining company Vale has announced that it is investing in the training of Mozambican train drivers, in order to meet the needs of the local rail system.
Vale is one of the companies mining coal in the western Mozambican province of Tete. The first shipment of coal from Vale's open-cast mine in Tete was exported last September from the port of Beira. For its exports, Vale depends on the Sena Line, the railway that runs from the Moatize coal basin in Tete, to Beira.
Vale also intends to build a new railway, running from Moatize, across southern Malawi, and linking up with the existing northern rail line to the port of Nacala. It is thus crucial for Vale's exports that skilled rail workers should be trained.
According to a Vale press release, 125 apprentices have now been trained as locomotive drivers in Tete and Beira, as a result of a partnership between Vale-Mozambique and the publicly owned ports and rail company, CFM.
In addition to technical knowledge, the training course involves "instruction in operational norms and procedures", says the release. "CFM is responsible for instructing the workers about the Train Circulation Regulations, and for certifying qualified train drivers".
The training cooperation between Vale and CFM began in 2010, and the first group of rail workers was trained in Brazil, since at the time the Sena Line was still under reconstruction. But today all the training take place in Mozambique.
Vale says that, over the past two years, it has trained a total of 1,149 Mozambican professionals in various areas of activity.