4 December 2012

Zambia: Chinese Firm Completes First Phase Tazara Study

THE Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (TSDI) of China has completed the field phase of the feasibility study which will determine options for Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA)'s future development.

TSDI survey leader Jai Guangzhi reported that their field work in Tanzania and Zambia had been well supported and facilitated by the TAZARA Coordinating Team headed by Zambian and Tanzanian Engineers Sinonge Masiliso and Timothy Kayani respectively.

"The liaison services of the TAZARA Coordinating Team would continue to be required for assistance and information that shall be required between now and the complete end of the feasibility study in June 2013," he said.

TAZARA managing director Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika noted that one of the three agreements signed by the tripartite governments of China, Tanzania and Zambia at Lusaka, Zambia in March 2012 was for the Chinese government funding and engagement of experts to conduct a study to determine options for TAZARA's future development.

This is according to the statement released by TAZARA head of public relations Conrad Simuchile in Dar-es Salaam yesterday.

He said the feasibility study being undertaken followed a December 2009 request by the governments of Tanzania and Zambia for the Chinese to consider future involvement in TAZARA beyond the provision of loans for periodic procurement equipments, materials and services.

"This exercise is probing for a way forward towards TAZARA's reconstruction, re-equipment and restructuring.

This is why it is commendable and encouraging to have the feasibility study progressing on schedule, once it started in earnest," said Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika.

The Chinese government engaged the TSDI to conduct the study, which had been initiated with a field study as phase one, before completion of the whole feasibility study exercise and reporting to the Chinese government by the end of June 2013.

TSDI is the agency that did the original survey and design of TAZARA between 1967 and 1970.

In June 2012, a team of 132 technical engineers and surveyors arrived to commence the study and so far the team has completed its information gathering phase, but the full report will not be ready until June 2013.

More than 210 Zambians and Tanzanians were employed during the first phase of the study.

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