Namibia: 20 Years Later - Transnamib Moves First Major Consignment From Ariamsvlei to Lüderitz

Public rail transporter, TransNamib reached a milestone when it moved the first shipment of Northern Cape manganese from Ariamsvlei to Lüderitz earlier this month.

According to TransNamib's Commercial and Marketing Executive, Hippy Tjivikua, this is the first major movement of cargo on this route, especially after the rehabilitation and upgrade of the railway line between Aus and Lüderitz, which has not been operational for more than 20 years since 1998.

The train carrying 520 tons manganese departed Ariamsvlei on 1 August and arrived at the port of Luderitz and offloaded on 3 August.

"TradePort Namibia, approached TransNamib in 2018 to start shipping their bulk manganese originating from the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, by rail through the Port of Lüderitz, for export to various overseas markets. This is part of the solution to provide the required Pit-to-Port logistics solution and gave an undertaking to provide a minimum of 30,000 metric tons of manganese concentrate per month for this route," Tjivikua said.

Various stakeholders such as Namport, Ministry of Works and Transport as well as Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development were part of the rate offer negotiations made to the customer, which was concluded this year in May.

Tjivikua said that with the issuing of their environmental clearance certificate, which compelled the customer to have enclosed storage warehouses at both Ariamsvlei and Lüderitz, preparations were afoot to start with the very first rail shipment of these manganese, pulled by 2 multiple locomotives with 20 wagons loaded with 26 tons each of manganese due to current railway infrastructure limitations.

The project has seen TransNamib recruiting more than 150 people, as part of its commitment and dedication to uplifting the unemployment situation in the country.

Tjivikua further added that a lot of spin-off business activities are expected to be generated out of this new business venture, especially in Ariamsvlei, Keetmanshoop, Aus and Lüderitz.

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