(Ecofin Agency) - U.S. company Railnet International plans to pump $11 billion into the construction of a modern railway and the commission of high speed trains linking Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
According to Donald Kress, CEO of Railnet, talks are going well between the project’s shareholders and a deal is already signed with Zambia regarding the feasibility studies which are expected to start within the next six weeks. A detailed engineering design is also already planned with Zambian authorities.
This mega project will run from the Zambian province of Copperbelt to Beira port in Mozambique, passing through Harare in Zimbabwe. The investment also covers the acquisition of locomotives and wagons as well.
Construction is set to begin in January next year and Mr. Kress says the commissioning of the new line will allow freight trains to travel at 120km per hour and passenger trains at 160 km/h.
According to the permanent secretary of Zambia's Ministry of Transport and Communications, Misheck Lungu, the US company will first operate the line for a defined period under a concession deal after which the infrastructure’s management will be entrusted to the Zambian government.