Zambia has been awarded US $500m by Grindrod Limited Group of South Africa to enable it undertake the first phase construction of the North West Rail project.
The rail way line, which is estimated to have a total cost of US 1bn will be 580km long and will act as a link between Zambia and Angola. The line will also help improve on the transportation of mineral products on the Copper belt and Northwest regions of Zambia, due to the fact that it connects with most of Zambia’s copper mines. Once this is done, about 1000 jobs will also be created.
The first phase of construction will be 290 km long running from Kansanshi, Chingola, Kalumbila and Lwama mines located on the Northwestern part of Zambia. This phase is alone estimated to cost US $489m.
On the other hand, the second phase of construction will cost US $500m and will involve connection of railway line to the Benguela railway line located on the Zambian- Angola boarder opening directly to Lobito.
The Zambian country is currently using road trucks to transport its minerals to South Africa and Tanzania, something which is expensive. The new railway lines will help reduce on the transportation cost, given that it is energy efficient, making it economical.
According to the Manager of Grindrod Limited Zambia Daniel Rea, this is a permanent investment that Zambia has made, and it will help in boasting the economy of the country.