PPP-driven dry ports on cards

ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) will soon set up dry ports in various parts of the country through public private partnerships (PPPs) to boost volumes of cargo handled by the rail company.
The firm also intends to invest about US$25 million in the establishment of inter-mine railways to accelerate connectivity in the mining province.
ZRL chief executive officer Chris Musonda said the inter-modal terminal facilities to be established in Livingstone, Lusaka, Chipata, Kitwe, Chingola, Ndola, Bwana-Mkubwa and Chililabombwe will enhance cargo handling and forwarding.
Mr Musonda said last week that the company is currently in discussion with the PPP unit on the establishment of the facilities.
“ZRL wants to bring the bulk cargo on rail through the initiative. We will engage the private sector to help in the establishment and running of the dry ports,” he said.
He said once established, the facilities will create a one- stop shop that will include Zambia Revenue Authority, clearing and forwarding agencies and other players in the transportation industry.
Mr Musonda said ZRL has the capacity to carry a minimum of 1,200 tonnes at once on the main line thus positioning it as the preferred mode of transport.
“If compared to road trucks, this translates into 40 loaded road trucks. ZRL gives access to all Zambia’s economically strategic towns,” he said.
On intermine projects, Mr Musonda said the company is expected to construct about 88.5 kilometres of new railway linkages to new mining plants in the inter-mine region on the Copperbelt Province at an estimated cost of US$25 million.
He also said implementing rail connectivity projects on the inter-mine will link new customers that are not connected by rail.
The projects are the Chambishi Copper Smelter, Zambia Furnance Supplies Siding and Manica Siding.

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