In terms of the Namibian government’s goal of advancing the country’s status to “developed” by 2030, sustainable development has been identified as a cornerstone and includes the development of effective trade routes, which will also boost employment.
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group advocates for cross-border trade facilitation and infrastructure improvements, including an adequate, efficient railway system. This will be substantially enhanced by the Walvis Bay-to-Kranzberg railway as a main artery to Walvis Bay port.
The present railway line meets only 20% of the maximum theoretical capacity of a new line. With an improved line, it is likely that resource, goods and human transport will increase and stakeholder expectations will be met.
Design requirements include:
- An increase in axle loading from the current 16tal (tons per axle loading) to 18,5tal; Strengthening and widening of the existing formation wherever needed; Refurbishment and strengthening of major structures to support increased axle loading; Increase of line capacity to accommodate higher load volumes and passenger numbers; and Sand containment measures.
Bigen provides full engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services.
Development impact opportunities that will ultimately be generated include:
- 30 – 75 professional jobs
- 500 – 600 skilled labour positions to be generated
- Job creation for 1 900 – 2 000 semi- and unskilled labour
- 2 500 – 2 750 informal job creation
- 4 000 – 5 000 total indirect job creation