The Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure says it has completed studies that will facilitate upgrading and reconstruction of the railway line from Limbe to Nsanje.

Principal Secretary Collins Kumangirana told The Business Times in an interview in Blantyre that Mozambique has since undertaken to further link the railway from Nsanje to Beira.

“Our studies are through. What we are doing now is prepare for a tendering process to identify a contractor for this project,” said Kumangirana.

“Mozambique has assured us that they are ready to construct another railway line to Nsanje. So it is a process which we know will greatly benefit the country in exporting and importing goods, said Kumangirana.

In 2008, Mozambican Railway Company (CFM) made an offer to reconstruct the railway between Blantyre and Villa Nova de Fronteira in Mozambique via Nsanje.

The then CFM Chief Executive Officer Rui Cirne Fonseca said the company was waiting for Malawi government’s response to the offer.

He said CFM was ready to construct the 45 kilometre stretch of railway up to Nsanje with the Malawi government continuing with the 100 kilometres up to Blantyre.

The project was then expected to cost CFM around US$11 million.

Kumangirana told Economic Recovery Plan consultative workshop in Blantyre last Friday that government wants to reduce transport costs by making rail transport safe, efficient and competitive through rehabilitation and expansion of the railway line and related infrastructure.

“We will create linkages to ports, industrial sites and regional and international markets, focusing on those that are linked to the priority crops and clusters,” said Kumangirana.

The seaport of Beira handles several types of goods like fertiliser, maize, fuel, tobacco, tea and sugar from Malawi, DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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