THE Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bombardier Transportation, the rail equipment division of the Canadian firm Bombardier Inc., to explore possibilities of investment cooperation.
In a statement, TAZARA Head of public Relations, Conrad Simuchile said with access to possible international funding options to support the revitalization of TAZARA, Bombardier Transportation has offered a preliminary turnkey solution for TAZARA to increase efficiency and capacity in the areas of track, rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications.
“Following the signing of the MoU, we shall now create a joint team to undertake a feasibility study that will define and agree on the scope of the partnership, after which Bombardier Transportation will submit a full technical and financial proposal for our consideration,” said Mr Simuchile.
Bruno Ching’andu, TAZARA Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bombardier Transportation, an acclaimed global leader in rail and aircraft technology, as one of the key partners in our quest to attain medium to long-term aspirations that include investing in rolling stock and infrastructure.”
He added: “On our part, we remain very open to all possibilities for introducing investments in rolling stock and infrastructure, which is essential for uplifting our capacity and instilling confidence in our customers.”
Nazif Tasci, Bombardier Transportation Director for Sales and Business Development, who signed the MoU on behalf of Bombardier, assured TAZARA that it was very possible to arrange a turnkey solution, including a very attractive funding arrangement via Sweden.
“In the past, we have successfully closed transactions based on support from the European-based export credit agencies to extend financing to our customers and we strongly believe this is also possible in the case of TAZARA,” said Mr Tasci.
TAZARA is a bi-national railway jointly owned by the governments of Tanzania and Zambia on a 50-50 shareholding basis.
The 1,860km-railway connects landlocked Zambia to the seaport of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and further provides road and railway inter-connectivity to other parts of southern Africa.