Beira - Sena railway update

Mar 16, 2004
Author: P&S

Reconstruction of the railway leading north from Dondo (outside Beira) in the direction of Sena is progressing well, according to the Mozambique News Agency (AIM), who report that about 30 of the first 90 km has been completely refurbished.

The railway leads off the main Beira Zimbabwe railway at Dondo and later branches again on the opposite side of the Zambezi River from Sena, with one section heading northwest to the coal mining region of Moatize in the Tete Province, and the other northwards into Malawi. The bridge across the Zambezi at this point, the Dona Ana Bridge, is the longest rail bridge in Africa.

The South African sugar company Illovo has extensive sugar interest at Sena.

The national ports and railway company CFM is financing the first 90km section as far as Muanza, to the tune of USD11 million. World Bank approval and financing is reportedly available for the rehabilitation of the balance of the railway, which has the promise of reopening a rich mining and agricultural region with access to the port of Beira and a proposed deep water ore port at Savane northeast of Beira.

An international tender for the rehabilitation of the remaining sections of the 600km line is currently under evaluation, after two consortia were pre-qualified Rites of India and Tenwin-China Railways Construction. The awarding of the contract is expected in May.

The existing railway received extensive damage during the civil war and is the only remaining Mozambique railway not to have been reopened since the cessation of hostilities.

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