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 02 Sep 2019

LÜDERITZ, 01 SEP (NAMPA) - The process of manganese being transported from the Northern Cape Province in South Africa to the Port of Lüderitz to be sent to the global market has revived the railway line between Ariamsvlei and Lüderitz. 
The manganese is being transported from the Tshipi é Ntle manganese mine through the Trans-Oranje Corridor route to the Port of Lüderitz before export to the international market.
Speaking at the commissioning of the first manganese shipment through the Port of Lüderitz over the weekend, TransNamib Executive of Commercial and Marketing, Hippy Tjivikua said on 01 August this year, TransNamib successfully operated the first train from Ariamsvlei to Lüderitz. 
"This exodus marks the beginning of an avalanche of requests from the Northern Cape to move freight by rail through the Port of Lüderitz and Walvis Bay," he said.
Tjivikua expressed delight over TransNamib's involvement in the new supply chain to evacuate manganese to the markets for production, beneficiation and value addition.
"More customers are starting to queue at up. Those customers that have engaged with us thus far want to evacuate an additional six million tons per annum. There are even more requests to add more products such as iron ore, grapes and containers," said Tjivikua.
He said all these new opportunities are timely for Namibia as the country positions itself as a logistics hub to provide alternative trade routes in southern Africa. 
Tjivikua went on to say that the new developments are in line with TransNamib?s integrated business plan as approved by Cabinet late last year that advocates for robust implementation of the road-to-rail strategy, noting that the strategy aims for the railway to increase its market share and move at least 70 per cent of freight.
"These are ambitious and difficult targets but it is doable, especially with all your support and commitment, there is indeed many good spinoffs for our country," said Tjivikua. 
He added, however, that despite TransNamib embracing the new opportunities, it still faces some challenges. 
"The potential new volumes cannot be carried by the current fleet alone but we need to devise new mechanisms to acquire new and reliable rolling stock from reputable suppliers," he said.