CFM - Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique
MCLI Key-Funding & Board Member
A US$20 million investment by CFM, the public company given the task of rebuilding Mozambique’s ports and railways, has set trains back on track to carry substantial increases in freight through the Maputo Corridor.
The rehabilitation of the 88 kilometre Ressano Garcia rail line from Mozambique’s border with South Africa to Port Maputo, has opened up the shortest route to the sea for more trains, moving faster, with larger volumes of cargo to and from the hinterland of the region.
The Masterplan for Port Maputo predicts a three-fold increase in the number of trains collecting and delivering at the docks, from the current 10 a day to 36 each day by 2030.
The timely investment in the two-year rehabilitation programme by CFM Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, E.P. has raised the rail route’s annual capacity to 9 million tonnes with predictions of ultimate carryings of 40 million tonnes a year.
The route is now capable of accommodating trains of 40 to 60 wagons, able to carry up to 3,600 net tonnes of such commodities as minerals, citrus, sugar, fertiliser and containerised cargoes.
The major task of upgrading the vital Ressano Garcia rail link involved re-ballasting the track from the Mozambique/South Africa border to the Indian Ocean replacing existing track with longer rails the rehabilitation of 19 bridges upgrading of the lines to the industrial port of Matola construction of 14 shunting lines at the Machava Station and improvements to the sleeper factory at Umbeluzi.
Also on CFM’ s agenda is a US$30 million, four year programme of refurbishing 45 locomotives to enhance the company’s traction capacity, plus the comprehensive reconstruction of 670 rail wagons to join the 300 units already repaired and back in service.
Driving this determined push towards a new era for rail freight is CFM’s awareness of the millions of tonnes of cargo that could take up the growing capacity along what is undeniably the shortest, most cost effective route to world markets.
Port Maputo via the Maputo Corridor and the Ressano Garcia railway line, is the natural ocean gateway for raw materials and finished products originating in the abundant industrial, commercial and food and forestry growing belt of South Africa’s northern provinces. It also readily serves the neighbouring land-locked states of Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Comparative kilometre counts for cargo shipped via Maputo or Durban, say it all. The centre of Johannesburg is only 581 kilometres from Maputo, compared with 720 kilometres from Durban. To reach Maputo, freight from Nelspruit in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province has to travel little more than a quarter of the 830 kilometres it has to cross to reach Durban and Phalaborwa in Limpopo province is just 374 kilometres from Maputo but 1,083 kilometres from Durban.
CFM’s Southern Railway System also includes the Goba Line along which eight trains travel each day, in each direction, carrying mainly sugar, coal, cement and containers the 74 kilometres between Port Maputo and the Kingdom of Swaziland. And the 534 kilometres of the Limpopo Line provides a vital artery for trade with Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the countries of the Great Lakes.