New Zambia $1bn railway investors get green light

The Zambian government has given a group of investors planning to construct a new railway line a go- ahead and work is expected to commence soon.

The 554 kilometre railway line will be constructed by North- West Railway Company (NWR) from Chingola town on the Copperbelt province to Jimbe on the Angolan border in north-western Zambia at a cost of $1 billion, the Times of Zambia reported on Tuesday.

The financial advisers for the project, Tagos Group of Companies, have confirmed that following the go-ahead given by the government, works would commence in earnest in 2013 though preparatory works are already in progress.

The group's managing director, Trevor Simumba said the railway permit, to undertake the construction works, was issued in December 2011 and would expire in December 2016.
He said negotiations with various would-be financiers of the project were underway and were expected to be concluded by the end of this year in readiness for works to start.

"As you know we are a US (United States) company and our focus right now in Zambia is the North-West Railway project which we will be launching between May 14 and 17, so the whole team from the United States will come.

"We are putting together the project plan now and it is important to point out that we have had meetings with Standard Bank, African Development Bank, Citi Bank ad Development Bank of Southern Africa as well," he was quoted as saying by the paper.

He further said the project had received a number of interested investors from China, Europe and the United States. Once the railway line is constructed, it will make it easier for Zambia to connect with Angola and its sea coast.

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