Zim resumes Sena Line use
Maputo – Although rehabilitation work remains incomplete, Zimbabwe has resumed using the strategic Sena Line, a 600-kilometre rail link from Mozambique’s Port of Beira to the border city of Mutare.
The Southern Times is reliably informed that in December last year, the management of the Beira Railroad System, Mozambique’s Ports and Railways Co (CFM) terminated a multimillion-dollar contract with India’s Rites and Ircon after it failed to complete work on the Sena Line.
The contract was handed over to the state-run CFM, which expects to complete the work in 2013.
The work done so far has already reduced the number of derailments and related incidents, which used to be as many as three a day.
“Daily circulation of at least three trains per day is taking place on the stretch between Beira and Mutare and cargo is largely fertiliser and granite from the Port of Beira to Zimbabwe,” rehabilitation inspector, José Mapoissa, told this paper.
Rehabilitation was funded by the Mozambique government and the World Bank, who invested U$450 million.
The Sena Line – which was badly damaged during Mozambique’s civil war ‑ is the backbone of development in the vast Zambezi Valley.
The rehabilitation is part of the government’s strategic plan to develop the Zambezi Valley, a region that has much potential in agriculture, agro-industry, livestock, forestry, and cement.
After the rehabilitation and upgrade is complete, the line will be able to carry 6.5 million tonnes of coal per year, up from two million tonnes now, before being expanded further.
Infrastructure bottlenecks remain the main concern for coal miners and other investors.
The dilapidated state of the Sena Line had seen some exporters resorting to road transport, which is costlier.