TransNamib needs more trains/locomotives

24 Dec 2014 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 24 DEC (NAMPA) – A shortage of locomotives has affected the distribution of fuel to the northern parts of Namibia, says TransNamib Chief Corporate Communications Officer Ailly Hangula-Paulino.
“Due to the non-availability of sufficient tractive power TransNamib is experiencing a major challenge in handling bulk freights which includes fuel,” she said in a statement issued to Nampa on Wednesday.
TransNamib is the desired transporter of fuel in the fuel industry.
The only alternative is road transport, and TransNamib Holdings acquired four state-of-the-art Scania trucks and eight road fuel tankers valued at N.dollars 13m in June last year.
She noted that although the demand of fuel is increasing, there is a reduction in the demand for the transport of other commodities.
TransNamib’s freight tonnage has declined significantly over the past three years due to limited and unreliable locomotives.
TransNamib Holdings board member, Dantagos Jimmy-Melani was quoted as saying in the Southern Times newspaper in October this year that the company is abandoning about 10 000 tonnes of cargo per day at Walvis Bay Port, as it is failing to cope with demand due to an acute shortage of locomotives.
The state-owned rail utility is operating with 23 obsolete locomotives only but requires at least 15 locomotives per day, he said at the time.
“With our current capabilities, we are not able to service the existing customers, something which we deeply regret. Therefore, let us be brutally honest, we need to get more trains/locomotives going to ensure we can assist our customers before they turn to road freight, putting further pressure on our national road infrastructure,” Jimmy-Melani said.