ZAMBIA Railways Limited will this year lose US$ 4.5 million following the outage in the Nacala corridor which runs from Chipata through Malawi to the Mozambican port of Nacala, chief executive officer Professor Muyenga Atanga has said.
He told a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the outage was caused by heavy rains experienced in both Malawi and Mozambique.
“Some parts of the rail line were washed away, thereby putting the movement of cargo to and from Nacala to a stop,” he said.
Prof Atanga said Zambia Railways was this year geared to move 137,000 metric tonnes of cargo, equivalent to US$ 10 million but the company would lose US$4.5million by end of April or May, 2015.
“This has a significant negative effect on the company’s revenue. So the company’s management is making frantic efforts to arrest the situation and thereby remain afloat,” he said.
Prof Atanga said the earliest expected project implementation time was towards the end of March, 2015 and the easiest completion time was end of May, 2015.
“The expected work to revive the line is quite involving but our business partners CEAR/CDN of Malawi and Mozambique are seriously working on putting the line back into operation,” he said.
Prof Atanga said Zambia Railways was also making arrangements to work with its railway partners in Malawi and Mozambique to find alternative ways of moving customers cargo.
He said one such possibility was re-routing the cargo via the port of Beira where the company could work with Mozambican Railways and the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
Prof Atanga said Zambia Railways Limited will this year exhaust the entire US$ 120 million Eurobond which Government allocated to the firm for its re-establishment.
He said the firm has purchased another train similar to the Michael Chilufya Sata which will being going to Eastern province via Luangwa route.
“We have also received 50 motorized pushing trolleys and monitors which will be used to stabilize the railways lines,” he said.
Prof Atanga said the firm was also expecting to receive modern crane machines from Germany by mid May this year.
He said the firm intends to introduce the Zambia Railway Division at its headquarters in Kabwe which will commercialize the operations of old spare parts.
Prof Atanga said the firm intends to build a workshop in Kabwe aimed at equipping its staff with expertise of operating most of the modernized machines which it has acquired through its Euro bond.