TransNamib, Botswana Railways to set up dry port at Gobabis

TransNamib and the Botswana Railways are partnering in the establishment of a dry port at Gobabis station to connect Namibia’s eastern neighbour to the port of Walvis Bay.

 Abigail Raubenheiner, TransNamib Corporate Communications Manager, told The Brief that a Botswana Rail delegation led by its acting Chief Executive Officer Chelesile Malele, board Chairman Mmoloki Ramaeba, General Counsel and Board Secretary Kgotso M Ollyn, Head Corporate Communication Sakaeyo Baitshepi and Managing Director of Sea Rail Derick Mokgatle, was in the country for talks with TransNamib CEO Johny Smith last month. 

“The aim of the courtesy visit was to discuss the way forward regarding the dry port in Gobabis,” she said, adding that the Botswana delegation also visited the Gobabis Station to view the facilities. 

According to Raubenheiner, commodities destined for Botswana will be transported by rail from Walvis Bay to Gobabis, from where they would be transported by road to Botswana.

The same will apply to commodities from Botswana being exported through the port of Walvis Bay 

“Thus the Gobabis railway station is a critical link allowing Botswana access to commodities coming through the port of Walvis Bay,” she said. 

According to the agreement between the two parties, the Gobabis station will remain under TransNamib’s operations and Botswana Railway will use TransNamib’s services and facilities at the station. 

“TransNamib will soon resume train services between Walvis Bay and Gobabis and these will be used to grow volumes between the two rail entities over a period of time,” said Raubenheiner. 

She added that Namibia’s railway operator will cooperate with Botswana Railways to grow the freight volumes between Walvis Bay and Gobabis to support imports/exports for Botswana with the support of the dry port. 

The two rail companies also signed an agreement which will see Botswana Railway investing in the upgrading of the Gobabis Station warehousing facilities.  

“With TransNamib having recently signed a rail transport agreement with Namcor to move in excess of 3 600 tonnes of petroleum products per month for Namcor for a period of five years, the company is strategically positioned to service the Botswana market with fuel in addition to other commodities,” said Raubenheiner 

This comes as a South African delegation was also recently in country to explore opportunities where TransNamib and TransNet can partner and support the growth of the rail industry in the SADC region.  

One of the areas highlighted in the South African delegation visit was the manganese route from Ariamsvlei to Luderitz and how TransNet and TransNamib could partner to grow business on this route. 

“The discussions are at an advanced stage and we should be able to share more information soon,” said Transnamib’s public relations manager.

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Last modified on Thursday, 16 June 2022 19:19

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