Developer Thai Moçambique Logistica is to start work next year on the building of the new coal port at Macuse near the mouth of the River Zambezi in Mozambique.
Mozambican coal is currently shipped from the ports of Beira and Nacala. The project has proceeded very slowly to date, as the government awarded the company the concession to build and operate the port as long ago as 2013.
The process of relocating people who live in the area where the port will be built has begun, with a new village built to accommodate them. It will be interesting to see if construction begins on time if thermal and coking coal prices stay low.
Thai Moçambique Logistica will operate the project with a 60% stake, with 20% shares held by both Mozambique’s state owned transport utility Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) (20%) and a Mozambican consortium of investors called Corredor de Desenvolvimento Integrado do Zambeze (Codiza) (20%).
Sources in Mozambique suggest that Sinosure and Chinese banks have agreed to finance the railway’s construction.
The port will be connected to the coal mines in Tete Province by a railway that is expected to cost US$2B to build, out of total project costs of US$3.3B.
The railway, which will be built by Mota Engil Mozambique and China Machinery Engineering Corporation, is variously described as being 525 km or 630 km in length but the discrepancy could relate to the length of spur line needed to connect mines in Chitima to the main railway.
The line will initially have transport capacity 25 Mtpa but the government hopes that this could be increased fourfold in the longer term as output is ramped up.