Rift Valley Railways (RVR) and Roofings Limited have signed a partnership to transport heavy steel materials by train over 1,000 kilometres. RVR, the operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway, developed a special wagon to transport heavy steel coils that Roofings uses as raw materials from the Kenyan seaport of Mombasa to Kampala. Roofings, which is headquartered in Kampala, is a major regional steel manufacturer.
"We have transported over 40,000 tonnes of steel for Roofings (equivalent to 2,000 truckloads) since we started using the new saddles. This is a remarkable achievement, considering just last year we were transporting no steel at all," Maryanne Wachira, the head of RVR's steel division, said in a statement recently.
According to Wachira, RVR engineers developed a special wagon-fitted saddle to firmly secure the circular steels coils and stabilize the train on the 1,300-kmilometre journey.
"These innovations, developed in partnership with Roofings significantly increase our capacity to meet their needs. A single train delivers in one shipment to their Kampala factory what it would take 50 trucks carrying 20-tonne coils to delivery intermittently," she explained.
Roofings' executive director, Olivier Lalani, said RVR had proven to be a reliable partner in the transportation of steel.
"Roofings Namanve is an ultra-modern factory worth over $125m, which is reliant on a steady and constant supply of raw materials. Having a partner like RVR who can guarantee the movement of steel once it reaches the port in Mombasa at the volumes we require is absolutely essential to meet our customers' growing demands," he said.