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NRZ, Chinese firm in US$500 million investment deal

by Staff reporter
20 May 2024 at 09:24hrs | Views
NRZ Public Relations and Stakeholder Manager, Mr Andrew Kunambura
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is gaining momentum in its recapitalisation efforts, as it has signed a lucrative agreement with TransTech, a subsidiary of China Railway International Group (Crig).

The collaboration is set to bring in an investment exceeding US$500 million, focusing on priority infrastructure and rolling stock projects.

TransTech is among 10 other companies that have partnered with the NRZ, which will see the refurbishment and provision of locomotives and diesel multiple units, construction of a new Beitbridge – Harare railway line as well as the increased transportation of minerals.

The railway company is also working on a possible partnership with the University of Zimbabwe in the development of railway solutions through the university's innovation hub.

In an interview with Sunday Business, NRZ Public Relations and Stakeholder Manager, Mr Andrew Kunambura said several partnerships and agreements, including the TransTech one were signed last week.

"As the NRZ, we are entering into agreements with at least 11 companies aimed at recapitilising the company and revitalising our operations. We are partnering with a Chinese company called TransTech, which is a subsidiary of the China Railway International Group.

"The partnership is for possible co-operation in the NRZ's capital priority projects, where we are looking at infrastructure and rolling stock and the deal is worth US$533 million. By infrastructure, we mean the railway lines and the rolling stock, we are looking at locomotives and wagons," said Mr Kunambura.

He further revealed that Crig chairperson, Mr Chen Yun, has been leading a delegation in the country since last Monday to discuss the investment proposal at the Government level and the operational level.

"The delegation has indicated that they have been given the mandate to carry out a feasibility study towards the implementation of what we term the phased priority projects set out in our strategic turnaround plan," said Mr Kunambura.

He said the feasibility study is underway and they are carrying out line tours and marshaling yards, workshops and also meeting with customers, with the team set to complete the study at the end of this month.

"Another company from China, China Railway No9 (CR9) is also seeking to help us to construct a new line between Beitbridge and Harare. We signed the preliminary agreement on 10 May 2024. Negotiations are currently underway regarding that. This will facilitate imports and exports given that South Africa is our biggest trading partner.

"In addition to that we are also in advanced talks with a company called General Rail, a South African company for the provision of locomotives and wagons. A team of our engineering experts has visited South Africa and made recommendations that will see these locomotives being procured from South Africa," said Mr Kunambura.

While he could not disclose all the 11 companies, Mr Kunambura said there is also a consultancy company which at the moment prefers to remain anonymous and has partnered with them in a proposed development of fast rail for both freight and passenger services.

He said they also have a company called Berhard Development Corporation, a logistics company and an agreement is in place which will see them partnering particularly in the transportation of minerals.

Mr Kunambura said they signed an agreement with them on 13 May 2024 and meetings are ongoing to polish issues regarding the agreement.

Source - The Sunday News
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