In a recent meeting with lawmakers at the Zambian Parliament, Transport and Communications Deputy Minister James Kapyanga, announced that the net worth of state-owned Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has increased from ZMW 18.9 million in 2011 to ZMW 63.3 million in 2014.
The announcement was done during Deputy Minister Kapyanga’s speech about the current financial situation of ZRL since it was took over by the Zambian government in 2012.
The increase on the company’s net worth is the result of the USD 120 million investment by the Zambian Government, founded by the country’s USD 750 million Eurobond sale in 2012 and that was used to increase tonnage capacity and enhance rolling stock, according to Bloomberg.
Tonnage carried was increased by 50% to 732,284 tonnes in 2013 and closed around the 1.4 million tonnes in 2014 after ZRL allocated USD 81.8 million towards railway infrastructure and USD 38.2 million towards rolling stock in 2012 according to ZRL.
The increase in tonnage has been also supported by an increase on train speeds from 18 km/h to 50 km/h over the same period, due to track rehabilitations and upgrades and rehabilitations on 35 locomotives out of the 37 ZRL currently has, explained Deputy Minister Kapyanga.
According to Bloomberg, ZRL seeks further funding from the Zambian Government to boost copper shipped by train from mines run by Glencore Plc and Vale SA.
The fund needed is estimated at USD 350 million and it would come from Zambia’s USD 1 billion Eurobond sale in April, 2014.
The proceeds would be used to rehabilitate customer rail sidings estimated at USD 15 million, replace locomotives’ skids of 80 pounds and 91 pounds at USD 87.1 million, rehabilitation of Mulobezi line at USD 100 million, construction of inter-mine lines at USD 41 million, upgrades at Nacala corridor at USD 19 million and operational expenses according to ZRL.
It would help to increase the current ZRL’s inter-mines market share from 12% to 52% by 2018 when the inter-mine traffic market is expected to reach the 4 million tonnes a year (MMT/y) from the current 2.9 MMT/y according to ZRL statistics.