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Friday, 07 August 2015

Swaziland Railway plans $20m upgrade at Matsapha dry port

State-run transportation firm Swaziland Railway has announced plans to invest $20 million to expand the dry port station at Matsapha in central Swaziland.

Authorities are currently considering adjacent sites for the expansion as well as plans to develop stronger regional rail links to neighbouring Mozambique and Kwa-Zulu Natal. 

Matsapha Dry Port has a length of 0.8 kilometres and acts as a regional transhipment point for containerized imports and exports. Swaziland is an important trading partner to South Africa and the planned intermodal upgrades are designed to strengthen the East3 trade route which links Mozambique, Swaziland, Seychelles and South Africa.

As one of the key partners in the East3 route, Mozambique announced plans earlier this year to attract extensive port and rail investment. Plans include $3 billion in investment to increase through-put at Mozambique’s Maputo port by 2020, according to the Maputo Port Development Corporation (MPDC).

Authorities plan to increase through-put to between 40 million and 50 million tonnes by 2020, and improve rail links to the port. Rail operator Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique also plans to invest $1 million in infrastructure and rolling stock to replace current road links to the port with new rail infrastructure.

The planned investment will see further dredging of the port to extend the draft to  14 metres in order to accommodate larger ships. The port was only recently dredged to provide a draft of  11 metres.



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