Mozambique picks firm to build coal railway port

Mozambique picks firm to build coal railway port :Maputo – Mozambique has picked a Thai construction firm as the preferred developer of a $3 billion railway and port project to boost coal exports, a senior government official told Reuters.

Bangkok-based Italian-Thai Development Pcl will construct the 525 km (325 mile) rail line from Tete province to Macuse in Mozambique’s Zambezia province and a port able to handle 25 million tonnes of cargo per year, the official said.

The government would officially announce the winning bid “very soon” but Italian-Thai, Thailand’s largest construction group, had already been notified that it had won the tender, the transport ministry official said.

Twenty one companies, including miner Rio Tinto had bid for the project.

Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony that emerged from civil war two decades ago, boasts some of the world’s largest untapped coal reserves and is expected to become a key source of premium, hard coking coal used in steel making.

Infrastructure bottlenecks have become a major headache for mining companies in Mozambique’s coal rich Tete province, with some projects delayed or put on hold due to the problems of getting coal to port.

Brazilian mining giant Vale is investing $4.4 billion to revamp a railway line from Tete to the deep-water port of Nacala via Malawi.

Mozambique picks firm to build coal railway port

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