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TransNamib bets on Botswana Railways’ Gobabis dry port deal to boost volumes

TransNamib is betting on a planned partnership with Botswana's state-owned railway company, Botswana Railways, in the establishment of a dry port at Gobabis station to connect Namibia’s eastern neighbour to the Port of Walvis Bay to boost cargo volumes, including coal exports.

As exclusively reported by The Brief in June, Namibia’s railway operator will cooperate with Botswana Railways to grow freight volumes between Walvis Bay and Gobabis to support imports/exports for Botswana with the support of the dry port.

This comes as TransNamib CEO Johny Smith told Reuters that the company plans to move around 50,000 tonnes of coal a month off trucks carrying it from coal mines in Botswana and onto the trains at Gobabis, with a service between Walvis Bay and Gobabis expected to resume soon.

"We see first shipments from Gobabis to Walvis Bay via rail by February or March of next year. We see it increasing to maybe 100,000 tonnes or more, it's just about putting the capacity there from a rail perspective,”  he said.

According to the partnership, commodities destined for Botswana will be transported by rail from Walvis Bay to Gobabis, from where they would be transported by road to Botswana and the same will apply to commodities from Botswana being exported through the Port of Walvis Bay.

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

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

A Botswana Railways 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 has already visited the Gobabis Station to view the facilities.

A delegation from South Africa’s rail operator, Transnet, has also held talks with TransNamib on a possible partnership to  grow business on the manganese route from Ariamsvlei to Luderitz. 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 30 November 2022 14:13

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