Walvis Bay Corridor Group To Ensure Railway Projects Align To Corridor Development

Walvis Bay Corridor Group To Ensure Railway Projects Align To Corridor Development
Photo: Walvis Bay Corridor Group

Walvis Bay Corridor Group says as a custodian for corridor development in Namibia, the group is actively involved in discussions on these proposed Trans-Zambezi and Trans-Kalahari railway projects.

Chief executive officer of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Mbahupu Tjivikua disclosed that the participation includes being part of the technical committee for these projects, ensuring their alignment to its strategic initiatives for corridor development.

The Trans-Kalahari Railway project is a bilateral project between Botswana and Namibia. The project aims to construct a railway line from Walvis Bay to the coalfields at Mmamabula in Botswana.

On the importance of the proposed Trans-Zambezi Railway, Tjivikua said the railway line is expected to be highly significant for its operations, as it will enhance connectivity, and facilitate the smoother and faster flow of cargo between Namibia, Zambia and DRC.

He added that by supplementing road transport, the railway will also provide additional capacity to handle higher cargo volumes, especially bulk commodities.

Tjivikua said this will further increase trade efficiency on the corridors, and reduce the cost of doing business in the region, cementing the group’s position as the preferred trade route to and from southern Africa.

The extension of the Grootfontein-Katima Mulilo will connect Namibia, Zambia and Botswana, through Ngoma up to Kasane, and link up with Zimbabwe and Zambia, up to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He adds that the current industry trends in the Namibian market indicate notable growth in cargo volumes, driven by increasing demand for goods across key markets such as Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Tjivikua noted that the significant expansion in mining activities, particularly in DRC, Botswana and Zambia, contributed to the increased demand for transport and logistics services.

Tjivikua added that emerging markets, particularly in the oil and gas and green hydrogen industries, are also driving growth as major multinational corporations are establishing operations in key locations such as Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.

Additionally, he added that Namibia’s growing mining industry, with notable ventures in lithium and uranium, is poised to further boost the demand for transport and logistics services in tandem with these emerging markets.

Furthermore, the group anticipate an increase in manganese exports via the Port of Lüderitz, commencing in the third quarter of this year.

Talking about new markets, Tjivikua said the group’s proactive approach to business development and trade facilitation has been instrumental in attracting new clients and boosting cargo volumes. As a result, it has successfully introduced new commodities into the market, including sugar imports from Brazil, as well as exports of coal and copper concentrate from Botswana.

He said these efforts have significantly diversified the range of goods transported through the Walvis Bay Corridors, reflecting its ongoing commitment to expand trade opportunities and further strengthen Namibia’s position as the preferred trade route to and from Southern Africa.

The main commodities transported on the Trans-Kalahari Corridor include sugar from Brazil to Botswana and Zimbabwe, coal exports from Botswana to China, copper concentrate from Botswana to China and in transit fuel export from Botswana.

The Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor transports copper, sulphur, new vehicles, fast-moving consumer goods, in transit fuel export from Zambia and malt to DRC and Zambia.

The Trans-Oranje Corridor transports manganese from the Northern Cape of South Africa to China via Lüderitz.

By: Written by Chamwe Kaira for Railways Africa Magazine

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