THE CHINA Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) intends to embark on the construction of a railway from Chipata to Mpika station and from Nseluka to Mpulungu at a total sum of US$ 2.7 billion.
The Eastern line would cost US$ 1,992,028,500 while the Northern line would gobble US$ 668,115,000.
The total length for the two lines is 760.04 kilometres.
In 2011, the Chinese company signed the feasibility agreement with the Zambian Government on the construction of the Chipata to Tazara railway line at Mpika via Petauke and Nseluka to the port of Mpulungu.
CCECC vice president Zhao Zhongning said this when he paid a courtesy call on assistant secretary Beenzu Chikuba in Chipata yesterday.
He said this would be done after the company had successfully completed the feasibility studies on the construction of the railway line.
Mr Zhao said the construction of the Eastern line would be done concurrently saying it would be constructed within five years.
He explained that the company would embark on the construction of the railway lines for Eastern and Northern lines next year.
Mr Zhao said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Government of Zambia and his company would be signed this week with Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska.
He said the construction of the railway from Mpika to Chipata would cover 569.151 kilometres while the line from Nseluka to Mpulungu would be 190.89 kilometres.
Mr Zhao said his company was currently enjoying the cordial relationship with Zambia and Tanzania because of the already existing railway line.
He said the construction of the railway line would assist in the integration and promotion of economic developments in eastern and northern Zambia.
The vice president said Zambia’s main sea route channel for import and export of goods to East African community and SADC would be entirely dependent on the railway line.
And Mr Chikuba said the Government was pleased with the company for starting to construct the two rail lines.
She said the Government was looking forward to working with the CCECC in the construction of important links such as the railway line in the country.
The Eastern line will start from Mpika station towards the mountainous regions at the west foot of the Muchinga escapements into the Chipelembe, Musalemo and Chikonde regions to Chipata town while the Northern will traverses from Nseluka and pass through Ngolo, Kaunguluka, Katebula to the port of Mpulungu.