NRZ in Russian locomotive, wagon deal
A new lease of life is beckoning for the troubled National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) after the entity signed a new deal with Union Wagons of Russia here on Tuesday, for the supply of wagons and locomotives.
The first batch of 100 wagons is expected to arrive in the country in January 2020.
The deal comes barely a fortnight after Cabinet cancelled the $420 million NRZ recapitalisation tender that had been won by the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) and South African logistics group, Transnet in October 2016.
NRZ board chairman Advocate Martin Dinha is optimistic that the wagons and locomotives deal with the Russians will revive NRZ and position Zimbabwe as a railway hub in the Southern African region.
“The deal involves the capacitating of NRZ, as you are aware we have had capacity problems over the years and now we want to acquire rolling stock and rolling stock involves locomotives and wagons.
“We signed a deal with (Union) Wagons (of Russia), the largest wagon manufacturing company in Russia and we are going to get delivery of 100 wagons starting in January (next year); prototypes specially designed for our conditions in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Adv Dinha said the deal will boost NRZ that is struggling to meet demand emanating mainly from agriculture and mining industries.
“Ultimately, the deal involves the supply of 5 000 wagons so that we are able to match capacity utilisation for NRZ. We have booming mining and agricultural industries and we require the wagons and locomotives for this purposes.
“The current 100 wagons that we will be getting in January are costing US$10 million and we have secured the funding. Besides the wagons, we are going to get 70 locomotives,” said Adv Dinha.
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