Yapi Merkezi has started implementing Phase One of the deal with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to recapitalise and modernise the nation’s railway system.
The Turkish company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NRZ and the deal is expected to kick-start the transformation of NRZ through the rehabilitation of the country’s railways.
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Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Development, Engineer Theodius Chinyanga, on Thursday told The Sunday Mail that Phase One entails rehabilitating existing infrastructure. Eng Chinyanga said:
The Turkish entity sent in its delegation about a fortnight ago, they made presentations on capabilities, the kind of support they have from the Turkish government and they invited the Government to visit some of the countries where they are undertaking projects.
They will be looking at the track, signalling, locomotives, workshops, and any other ancillary areas that NRZ will be looking at rehabilitating, specifically the main railway corridors in order to attract business.
The first phase of this deal is focusing on existing infrastructure and not new infrastructure. The company has capabilities in passenger coaches to rehabilitate the public transport system in urban areas so light rail will be considered but it will be included in existing infrastructure.
No new infrastructure is envisioned under this arrangement. The first phase focuses on capacitation and recapitalisation of NRZ in terms of equipment, its tracks, locomotives and wagons. This phase will also involve the scoping mission.
Eng Chinyanga said the second phase will entail extensive negotiations that will lead to financial closure adding “once those are signed off, it means we will be entering the actual implementation.”
Yapi Merkezi, ranked 78th in the 2020 list of top international 250 contractors, has also indicated its intention to include the procurement of locomotives in the deal.
The NRZ requires a capital injection of US$400 million in the short to medium term to return to profitability.
Yapi Merkezi’s general manager, Mr Ali Aslan Uzun, recently said they have the capacity to overhaul Zimbabwe’s railway network.
More: The Sunday Mail