Transnamib train

NAMIBIA: A three-year project to renovate a 108 km section of the Trans-Namib main line between Walvis Bay and Arandis has been completed, raising the maximum speed on the 1 067 mm gauge route from 40 to 80 km/h.

The N$1·03bn contract awarded to China Gezhouba Group Corp in December 2019 was 44% funded by a loan from the African Development Bank, with the remainder coming from the Namibian government. Work had been expected to take 821 days, but over-ran because of the coronavirus pandemic.

CGGC representative Li Lijie told local media that the company had overcome many difficulties since the start of the project, including the pandemic,‘frequent strong winds and dust, and insufficient supply of local materials to ensure the high quality delivery’. The project had created more than 500 local jobs and had helped to train skilled workers in Namibia.

Explaining that the railway restoration was an important component of the Namibian government’s Vision 2030 plan, Deputy Minister of Works & Transport Veikko Nekundi said it would ‘enhance transport capacity and drive economic development along the route’.