HomeBusinessNRZ seeks to exploit Sengwa coal fields

NRZ seeks to exploit Sengwa coal fields

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THE NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is seeking investors to partner in the construction of a railway line between Kadoma and Sengwa coal fields in Gokwe in anticipation of increased business from coal mining in the area, acting general manager Lewis Mukwada said on Wednesday.

“The rail system would facilitate transportation of coal from Sengwa to Kadoma and beyond. Presently the coal is road transported resulting in high demand for road haulage trucks to move the high volumes which could be easily be cost effective moved by rail,” he said.

However, he told The Source that the company was still assessing how much will be needed to complete the project.

Sengwa coalfields, which are owned by RioZim, have estimated reserves of 1,3 billion tonnes of the coal ore.

RioZim has a long standing plan to build a 600megawatts thermal power plant at the site but at the moment, coal mined is being road transported to other powers stations.

Mukwada said additional traffic would be generated from agricultural-based activities and passenger services to cater for corridor communities and the tourism industry.

The company has suggested a number of projects that could revive its operations, including setting up two manufacturing units and opening up new routes.

NRZ recently unveiled plans to set up two manufacturing plants in Bulawayo at a combined cost of $14 million to revive its comatose operations laid low by debt, undercapitalisation and mismanagement.

Concrete sleepers are rectangular structures that support rail tracks.

The concrete sleeper plant is estimated to cost $4 million and would cater for NRZ’s requirements “to remove all cautions through re-sleepering of the track system as well as reserve stock for accidents and derailments”.

It would improve track conditions to enable full utilisation of resources, reduce transit times and ensure a stable and reliable track in Zimbabwe and connection to neighbouring countries “since NRZ system is at the centre of the Sub-Saharan Africa railway system”.

The wagon wheel manufacturing plant to produce mono-bloc wheels in-house, would enable a “faster roll out of wagons and cut costs involved in the importation of the same”, the documents says.

NRZ said the wagon wheel manufacturing project would, among other benefits, result in the reduction in financial resource leakages due to importation of wagon wheels and reduce derailments on the tracks due to defective wagon wheels. The plant’s cost is estimated at $10 million.

– The Source

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