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Mozambique looks to increase coal exports

World Coal,

The Mozambique Government has signed concession contracts with the company Thai Mocambique Logística for the construction of a new mineral port at Macuse in Zambezia, as well as construction of a railway that will link that port to the Moatize coal basin in Tete province.

Gabriel Muthisse, Mozambican transport minister, and Premchai Karnasuta, president of the Italian-Thai development company, signed the contracts in Maputo.

The port is valued at US$ 5 million, with construction scheduled to begin in 2016 and lasting an estimated five years.

The railway linking Macuse to Moatize will be 525 km long, significantly shorter than the existing Sena railway, which runs a full 578 km from Moatize to Beira.

The railway will provide an alternative route to the seaborne export market for Mozambique’s coal exports. In turn, it will alleviate some of the pressure on the Sena railway, which has a current capacity of 6.5 million tpa. It is estimated that upgrading the railway could increase capacity to 20 million tpa by 2015, but projections from mining companies operating in the country indicate that coal exports could reach 100 million tpa within the decade.

 Muthisse said that the commitment to building the new port and railway demonstrated how seriously the Mozambican Government regards the question of coal logistics. “This is a very important project,” Mathisse said. “[The shorter distance between Macuse and Moatize] means it has a great potential for establishing itself as one of the main, if not the main, export route for the coal of Tete province.”

The new line would complement the upgrading of the Sena railway, Mathisse said, as well as the line under construction that will connect the northern line to the port of Nacala.

“All of this is to ensure that Mozambican coal reaches international markets in the most competitive way possible,” Muthisse said. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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