(2015-06-08) The new port of Nacala-a-Velha, and its coal terminal, on the coast of the northern province of Nampula, is a step forwards in the industrialization of the country, declared Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday.
On the first day of his working visit to the province, Nyusi toured the new port receiving detailed explanations on how it will function to export coal from the Moatize coal basin in the western province of Tete.
“This undertaking employs 98 workers, of whom 60 to 70 per cent are from Nampula province”, Nyusi said. “This is turning into reality the dream of jobs for young Mozambicans”.
The port is connected to Moatize by a 912 kilometre long railway which runs across southern Malawi. Taken together, the port and railway employ 1,909 workers, of whom 90 per cent are Mozambians.
The port and railway have been leased to the Nacala Integrated Logistics Corridor (CLN), in which the shareholders are the Brazilian mining giant Vale, the Japanese company Mitsui, and the publicly owned Mozambican ports and rail company Mitsui.
The Nacala-a-Velha coal terminal can handle 18 million tonnes a year. CLN’s projections are for about 20 coal trains a day, requiring a fleet of 100 locomotives and 2,700 wagons. 12 ships a month are expected to call at the terminal.
Vale opted for a new port and railway when it became clear that the existing Sena line, from Moatize to the port of Beira, could not possibly cope with the forecast coal exports. Although the line to Nacala is about 330 kilometres longer than the Sena line, it could be cheaper to use because it will allow much longer trains. CLN is planning or trains of up to 150 wagons pulled by four locomotives. Such trains will be over one and a half kilometers long.
CLN had hoped that the railway and port would be fully operational by now. The transport capacity should have been 11 million tonnes a year by the end of 2015, rising to 13 million tonnes in 2016, and 18 million tonnes in 2017.
The line was successfully tested in November – but catastrophic flooding early this year swept away sections of the line, thus postponing the start of coal exports from the new terminal.
Photo: Notícias / Nyusi visiting the new Coal terminal in Nacala port
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