The Trans-Kalahari Railway Project Management Office (TKR-PMO) received interest from 12 companies to fund the feasibility study and develop the new strategic railway corridor between Namibia and Botswana.

French, Indian and Chinese companies are in the fray, according to a notice posted on TKR-PMO's website.

The TKR railway corridor is being undertaken through a bilateral agreement between the governments of Botswana and Namibia and will be used to transport commodities like fuel, iron ore, copper, coal to and from overseas markets.

Foreign companies that have expressed interest are:

  • NGE Contracting from France
  • Egypt’s Orascom Construction
  • China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation
  • Lesedi Nehawu Investment JV from South Africa
  • Rail Vikas Nigam Limited from India
  • Trans-Kalahari Railway Initiative Consortium - a Namibia-South Africa collaboration,
  • Nations Capital Projects PTY (LTD) and Seven Five Investments CC, both from South Africa

Five Namibian companies that have submitted interest are:

  • Helo Group
  • West Coast Energy
  • Fullbright Investment
  • Grindrod
  • Mega North Holdings

Last month, Zawya Projects reported that Transnamib is seeking investors for two strategic transnational railway projects.

“The responses received will help in shaping the project requirements, funding model and anticipated procurement processes and inform Member States on the decisions related to heavy-haul transport,” the TKR-PMO notice said.

TKR-PMO proposes to determine the best route alignment by a bankable feasibility study and find suitable partners to fund and develop or upgrade the existing rail infrastructure and construct a new 1,500-kilometre line between Botswana and Namibia.

A separate Request for Proposal (RFP), ‘if and when’ released, will  appoint an investor/developer to undertake the funding and development of the proposed new railway corridor, the document said. The chosen partner will finance, develop, operate, maintain and transfer the project.

Components of the project include loading facilities at Mmamabula in Botswana, the construction of the railway line and/or the upgrade of existing railway infrastructure from Mmamabula to the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the railway line was signed in 2010 and a Pre-feasibility Study was concluded in 2011. A Bilateral Agreement was signed in 2014 and a Development Study conducted in 2016.

(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)


Subscribe to our Projects' PULSE newsletter that brings you trustworthy news, updates and insights on project activities, developments, and partnerships across sectors in the Middle East and Africa.