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New grain project for Nacala

Southern Africa’s biggest grain silo development is currently under construction at the northern Mozambican port of Nacala.
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The project includes storage capacity for 60,000t of grain, a warehouse for bagged wheat, a weighbridge and bagging equipment. T

he venture is being developed by Bakhresa Grain Milling (Mozambique) Ltd, an offshoot of Tanzania’s Bakhresa Group, a milling company with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.

The Nacala silos, which are expected to be completed by March 2009, will serve Bakhresa’s Malawian subsidiary, Gramil, which it secured following a competitive tender in 2003.

The company is also reported to be considering the development of new grain silos at the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has agreed to provide a loan of up to US$30M, divided equally between the Nacala and Dar es Salaam projects.

Bakhresa will rely on the Nacala railway, which is operated by the Mozambican Corredor de Desenvolviemento de Norte (CDN) consortium, to transport grain to Malawi.

The company expects to transport 120,000 tpa of wheat to Malawi, providing the whole of that country’s requirements, while it could begin exporting wheat along the same railway to Zambia and even to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the future.

Fernando Couto, the chief executive of CDN, commented: “We will have to run about five trains a day to supply Malawi. There will be more trains running, more crew members, more drivers and more jobs due to this demand.”

CDN, which expects to earn around US$4M/year from the trade, announced at the end of November that it plans to invest a further US$70M in port and track infrastructure, plus new rolling stock.

Couto says that the current stock of 500 wagons will have to be increased by 200 to carry grain and iron ore, while the proposed Namialo banana project would require yet more capacity.

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