Nacala railway and port handover

Jan 18, 2005
Author: P&S

The president of Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) and chairman of Malawi’s Central East Africa Railways announced jointly on Friday (14 January) the beginning of operations by the private sector at the port of Nacala and its railway into Malawi.

Robert Pietrandrea of the RDC said this represented an important and long-awaited step in the evolution of Africa’s Nacala Corridor, which forms Malawi’s only railway link with the sea.

Pietrandrea said the RDC-led consortium* (see below) has been working since 1997 to create the first regional integrated port and railway transportation system for Malawi. The first accomplishment of this effort was the concessioning of Malawi’s railway in 1999.

The new company, known as Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte SARL (CDN), will begin an immediate rehabilitation of the railway as well as an upgrade of port facilities. CDN’s concession on both port and railway will run for 15 years.

An amount of US.6M of financing for the project has been made available by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

The Nacala Corridor consists of the Port of Nacala in northern Mozambique, the Northern Railway network of Mozambique and the railway system of Malawi (CEAR). After many years of war and neglect and to improve the overall operational efficiency, the government of Mozambique invited the private sector to participate in a concession for the corridor that will connect landlocked Malawi and Zambia to the port of Nacala.

The project will rehabilitate the 77-km section of the line between Cuamba and the border with Malawi to improve drainage and reduce line interruptions during the annual rains, as well as refurbish the largest natural deep-water port on the east African coast, the Port of Nacala.

* RDC is a privately held Pittsburgh-based railway management and investment company, focusing on ‘Emerging Corridors in Emerging Markets.’ For more information about RDC and its joint ventures in the USA, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Estonia and Malawi visit the website at

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