* Tender for 525 km rail line, port from Moatize to Macuse
* Sena line upgrade to 6.5 mln T seen completed by end-2012
* Expansion of Sena to 20 mln T seen completed by end-2014
By Agnieszka Flak
MAPUTO, Nov 21 Mozambique plans to solicit
international bids for a $2 billion railway and port development
project next month to boost its coal exports, the chairman of
state-owned rail and ports group CFM said on Wednesday.
Infrastructure bottlenecks are the main headache for mining
companies eager to participate in Mozambique's coal rush and
various firms have proposed projects to either upgrade old and
dilapidated rail lines or build new ones.
"By the end of this year we should issue the tender. The
project will cost around $2 billion, including the port,"
Rosario Mualeia said on the sidelines of a Coaltrans conference.
The tender will be for a 525 km line from the Tete province
to Macuse, in Mozambique's Zambezia province, and a new port,
able to handle around 20 million tonnes of coal per year.
Mualeia also said a delayed upgrade of CFM's Sena line, the
only railway linking the coal-rich Moatize basin with the coast,
to enable it to carry 6.5 million tonnes of coal, will be
completed by the end of the year.
The upgrade on the line, which now only carries around 3
million tonnes of coal, was delayed due to derailments, lack of
qualified drivers and the poor quality of work done by a
contractor previously in charge of the project.
A further upgrade to 20 million tonnes is scheduled for
completion by end of 2014, he added.
Mualeia said the various rail and port projects in the
pipeline that together will raise the coal export capacity from
Moatize to more than 120 million tonnes per year, should be
completed within five years at a total cost of $12 billion.
He said an independent operator will be set up next year to
manage the running of the various lines while rates and access
to the line will be managed by a state regulator.
Mualeia said he did not foresee problems in sourcing funds
for all the projects in the pipeline because the planned and
existing mines in the Tete province were viable.
Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony which emerged from
civil war two decades ago, boasts some of the world's largest
untapped coal reserves and is expected to become a key source of
sought-after premium, hard coking coal, used in steel making.