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Malawi plans to introduce electric locomotives

May 16, 2024 / Harry Witness Mombanyah
Hon. Jacob Hara

Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara says the Malawi Government is planning to introduce electric locomotives to replace the diesel-powered trains.

Hara said the development will help reduce reliance on traditional diesel-powered engines as it is proven that in the long term it is much cheaper to use electricity than diesel.

The Minister said this when he addressed the Malawi Mining Investment Forum in Lilongwe where he emphasized that Government is in the process of developing the country’s transport network in order to facilitate development of the key economic sectors namely agriculture, mining and tourism.

 “We will be starting this big project this year probably in three months’ time. We are currently working on our first stage of the Beira corridor connection, our plan is to electrify the line once we hit Nsanje all the way to Blantyre then through Lilongwe and connecting to Zambia,” he said.

Hara emphasized the crucial role of an efficient transport system in facilitating the movement of materials and supplies essential for mining operations.

“The transport sector is the number one enabler for national development, this is why in this fiscal year’s budget we have incorporated funds for very specific projects including those in mining areas,” he said.

On water transport, Hara said the Tanzara corridor will be revitalized to connect it to Chilumba which will help to boost water transport to Chipoka.

“We want to bring back life to Chipoka as we plan to make it one of the biggest ports in the region,” said Hara.

Besides water and rail transport, the Minister also said Government is in the process of upgrading the road network across the country.

He, however, spelt out the need for collaboration between mining companies, the Ministry of Mining and the Ministry of Transport to come up with plans that can benefit the two sectors.

Hara said: “We need to address the mentality that the government owe us good roads. Everyone should be responsible for providing the good roads through the road tolls and we can have special arrangements with the mining companies focusing on maintaining the roads that they use frequently.”

“Malawi’s decision to join the Central Corridor Transport Facilitation Agency shows the government’s determination to address challenges in the mining sector and elevate transportation infrastructure to new heights.”

“With ambitious plans to revitalize rail networks and enhance road connectivity, Malawi is heading to the new era of economic growth and development for the betterment of its citizens and the broader international community.”

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