Botswana eyes terminal at Gobabis

03 January 2019 | Transport

TransNamib and Botswana Railways have signed an agreement on the development of a container terminal at Gobabis.

This will be Botswana's second terminal in Namibia following the establishment of a dry port in Walvis Bay.

Gobabis is situated 110 kilometres from the border with Botswana and is the terminus of a railway from the port of Walvis Bay via Windhoek.

The agreement will serve as a starting point to help the two governments with the development of the proposed Trans-Kalahari railway, TransNamib spokesperson Ailly Hangula-Paulino was quoted as saying by Railway Gazette.

This is Botswana's second investment in the rail and storage industry, with the first being the construction of a dry port terminal in Walvis Bay.

Apart from that, authorities in both countries have considered the construction of a new railway through western Botswana into Namibia.

The railway, which would provide a direct connection to Walvis Bay for landlocked Botswana's mineral exports, has long been planned.

Back in 2010 a World Bank-funded study proposed a 1 500-kilometre line linking the coalfields in eastern Botswana to Walvis Bay.

Later that same year Botswana and Namibia signed an agreement confirming their commitment to proceed. However, only slow progress was subsequently made, partly owing to the high cost of the project.

What has now enabled the project to move forward again is Botswana's promotion of a coal export industry and Namibia's decision to provide extra harbour capacity through the development of the northern port project—to be known as the Southern African Gateway Port—as a predominantly bulk commodity terminal.

OGONE TLHAGE

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