14 July 2014

Zambia: ZRL to Revive Inter-Mine Network

Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) requires US$50 million to re-establish an inter-mine railway link to haul an estimated three million tonnes of cargo per annum.

ZRL has estimated to generate US$60 million per annum once the project is implemented as well as reduce damage to the country's road network.

Presently ZRL has a total inter-mine link of 167 kilometers and plans to construct an additional 97.1 km of new railway lines, to encompass 10 mining zones.

According to the ZRL was set to re-establish an efficient inter-mine rail and boost business with the mines as prime movers of their products.

The railway company also focused to establish new ports namely Beira and Nacala in Mozambique and contribute to improved living standards of the communities in the inter mine region.

The new inter-mine connectivity would involve linking Lubambe Mine to Chililabombwe railway station (20km), Chambishi Copper smelter to Chambishi railway station (5km), Mwekera and Neel Kathi lime plant to the Ndola railway line respectively.

Others were Dangote Cement to Bwana Mkubwa line, Bwana Mkubwa to Bridge shipping, Ndola to Luanshya mine, Konkola Copper Mine to Nchanga and Mopani Mine to the Mufulira railway station.

"Capital injection of US$50million is required to construct the new lines to new inter-mine production centres and to grow the business.

The source of the capital requirement will be through public private partnerships with approval from the government, the mines and other stakeholders and cooperating partners," the ZRL said.

Benefits from the implementation of the 2014 projects would be that the ZRL hauling capacity in terms of locomotive power and wagons would be enhanced to meet the US$5million tonnes by 2018.

The ZRL also expects to increase passenger carrying capacity following the procurement of 30 new passenger coaches while the repair and maintenance of Mulobezi railway line would help promote socio-economic development in the Western Province.

Other major projects dubbed the 'Green Field Railway Project' included the Nacala Corridor which links Chipata to Mpika through Petauke, covering a distance of 569 km. The Nseluka to Mpulungu route would connect Nseluka on the TAZARA line to the Great Lakes region through

Mbala, which covered a distance of 569km.

The ZRL had targeted to link Mulobezi-Welvis Bay in Namibia, and connect Chingola to Jimbe in Angola and Kafue through Chirundu to Lion's Den in Zimbabwe.

On commuter train services, the ZRL announced plans to revive train services in Lusaka and that a commuter train would be operating on a 16 km line from Chilenge to George Township and from Lilayi to Ngwerere.

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