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Namibia, Botswana to Seek Bids for $15 Billion Rail Study

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    Namibia and Botswana will in the next two months ask companies to tender for a feasibility study on building a 1,500-kilometer (930 mile) railway line between the two southern African countries. The countries want to be ready to invite bids to construct the project before the end of the year, Namibian National Planning Commission Permanent Secretary Levi Hungamo said in a telephone interview in Windhoek, the capital, today. The countries intend to jointly develop the Trans-Kalahari Railway, to link landlocked Botswana’s biggest coal mining region in its east with the Namibian port of Walvis Bay. They agreed in March to form a company that will oversee the project, estimated to cost around $15 billion. VIDEO: Dollar General Bids $9.7 Billion for Family Dollar “We would want to see the feasibility study concluded before the end of the year and have the tenders out in the market inviting potential developers this year,” Hungamo said. “We can then start identifying winning bidders in 2015.” The company administering the project will open an office in Windhoek “soon” and staff are being recruited in both countries, he said. Botswana has estimated coal resources of more than 200 billion metric tons in its Mmamabula coalfields and wants to ship 115 million tons of the fuel a year within a decade, targeting markets in China and India. STORY: The U.S. South Rises as a Manufacturing Hub “There is no single company that possess the skills to do this project, we expect multi-disciplinary companies from feasibility to construction, or even consortia,” Hungamo said. “We want to see this project developed now, we don’t want to see this development in 20 years.”
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