President Emmerson Mnangagwa will on Wednesday commission equipment leased by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) from Transnet.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The equipment, comprising 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 coaches, is being leased from South African rail utility, Transnet, under a clause in the framework agreement between the NRZ and the Diaspora Investment Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet Consortium, according to NRZ’s spokesperson, Nyasha Maravanyika.
“Under that clause, DIDG/Transnet will hire out equipment for use by the NRZ while negotiations on the recapitalisation deal are finalised,” he said.
Maravanyika said the equipment will address resource gaps in NRZ’s operations as an interim solution.
So far, seven locomotives, 150 wagons and seven coaches have arrived in the country.
The remainder of the equipment will be delivered in due course.
The DIDG/Transnet consortium won a bid to partner NRZ in the $400 million recapitalisation project. The project will involve the rehabilitation and renewal of plant, equipment, rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications infrastructure and the supporting information technology (IT) systems.
The project will also see the repairing and rehabilitation of infrastructure and equipment such as locomotives, wagons and coaches as well as phased modernisation of train control system. The rail parastatal is targeting to move four million tonnes of freight in 2018, up 25% from last year’s figures on the back of service level agreements signed with key customers.
Last year, NRZ signed a deal with Zimasco and CFM of Mozambique, which saw the parastatal moving about one million tonnes of chrome annually from the Great Dyke to the ports of Beira and Maputo along the Mozambican rail network.