The coal terminal at Nacala-a-Velha Port in Nampula province will formally enter into operation this Friday, marking the start of a new phase in the exploitation of the resources extracted in the Moatize basin in Tete province.
Refurbishment of the 900-kilometre railway line connecting Nacala-a-Velha to the Moatize coal-mining area began in 2012 at a cost of about US$ 4.5 billion and included the construction of new sections and the rehabilitation of others both in Mozambique and in neighbouring Malawi.
The line, which is owned by Integrated Logistics Corridor of the North (CLN) with the participation of Mozambique Railways (CFM), Vale Moçambique and Mitsui, involved the resettlement of nearly 1,600 families along its route.
From Friday, at least 21 trains a day will circulate on the line, at intervals of one to two hours, and CLN managers are busy ensuring coal trains will not interfere with the movement of other freight and passenger trains using the same infrastructure.
In its preliminary implementation phase, the project employed just over 10,000 mostly Mozambican workers, and at full operation approximately 4,000 workers, 90 percent of them nationals, will be employed on the railway line and at the Nacala-a-Velha coal terminal.
The metallurgical and thermal coal mined at the Moatize mines is destined for Brazil, China and Japan, and about 8.5 million tons have already been exported. The port and the railway capacity now installed is expected to transport about 18 million tons of coal per year.
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