The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has ordered 18 new passenger coaches and spare parts from China valued at 60 million Chinese Yuan (approximately US$ 9.52 million) to be delivered by October 2015.
To this effect, a contract for the supply of the coaches was signed last Thursday, in Dar es Salaam, between TAZARA and the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the company appointed by the Chinese Government to co-ordinate implementation of all its supported projects in TAZARA.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, TAZARA acting managing director Ronald Phiri, welcomed the development and said that the future for TAZARA lay in the recapitalisation efforts considering that the available equipment and infrastructure had drastically depreciated, needing urgent refurbishment and total replacement, in some cases.
Mr Phiri stated in a statement released in Lusaka yesterday that recapitalisation was a key solution to the challenges facing TAZARA.
He said the company had reached a stage where a fresh injection of capital was necessary for the refurbishment or replacement of aged equipment and infrastructure.
The acting managing director said this included the fleet of passenger coaches, which had been subjected to extreme strains from over-use and limited maintenance.
He observed that the challenges that the company was facing were well known and had been clearly articulated in the approved five-year strategic plan, for which funds were still being sought, adding that piece meal interventions could no longer suffice.
The procurement has been facilitated through loan funds from the 15th Protocol of Economic and Technical Cooperation signed by the three Governments of China, Tanzania and Zambia on March 26, 2012 in Lusaka.-ZANIS