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DW (File photo) / Despite financial losses imposed by a failed government agreement, Mozambican Ports and Railways says that it is necessary to "look ahead". In 2018, the company plans to rehabilitate rail lines.
Mozambican Ports and Railways (CFM) is still paying penalties for the Mozambican government’s failure to comply with a contract with the Italian company SALCEF concerning a feasibility study for the construction of a metro line linking the cities of Maputo and Matola.
The Italian group’s claim for damages of around US$3.2 million and is being paid off over time. “We ended up with a burden that has implications for our financial situation, but we are addressing it; we have amounts that we are paying strategically over time,” CFM CEO Miguel José Matabel says.
The opposition has criticised the Mozambican government for illegalities and lack of transparency including the absence of a public tender in the first stage of the study. In 2014, the public-private partnership went to an international arbitration centre.
The government withdrew from the partnership with SALCEF and the company demanded US$6.5 million dollars compensation. According to Mozambican analysts, the executive never attempted to establish responsibility, with the CFM bearing the costs of a poorly conducted business deal.
Despite the damage, the CFM president says he does not want dwell on the past and emphasizes that the priority is to invest in the country’s rail and port infrastructure rehabilitation and improvement projects. “It’s water under the bridge. We’re more concerned with what’s going to happen from now on,” he says.
Rehabilitation of railway lines
The Mozambican state-owned company wants to ensure a better quality of services from 2018 onwards, putting an end to the country’s perennial lack of public transport, especially as regards the railways and metro networks.
According to Matabel, the expansion of the surface metro will benefit the middle class. New locomotives and carriages are expected to arrive later this year, “so there will be integration which will have a positive impact on the country”, he says.
The plan includes the rehabilitation of the Ressano Garcia and Machipanda lines. “The Ressano Garcia line needs improvements in terms of its ability to increase traffic – improvements both in design terms and equipment, in this case, rolling stock, locomotives and wagons,” he explains.
The Sena line has been rehabilitated and has a reasonable capacity to respond to coal traffic in Moatize, he adds.
Matabel says investments will also benefit the Port of Macuse connection with Moatize, going on to mention the port of Pemba logistics development project in the north of the country as an opportunity for gas exploration in the region.Source: Deutsche Welle