By Kuda Chideme, HARARE, July 4 (The Source) – Six private investors, including SMH Rail Malaysia and South Africa’s Transnet on Tuesday submitted bid documents for a $400 million tender to recapitalize Zimbabwe’s struggling rail company.
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the country’s sole railway services provider, has failed to run profitably for years due to undercapitalisation and ageing rolling stock. It is saddled with a $144 million debt.
Other bidders include China Civil Engineering and Construction, accounting firm Crowe Horwath and SinoHydro.
NRZ chairman, Larry Mavhima told reporters after the bidding process that adjudication would be completed within 10 days.
“We are very happy with the response …We hope that within the next 10 days we will have a position as to who will have come out tops in terms of a strategic fit and also being able to provide the necessary funding requirements,” said Mavhima.
“We are open to any investment whether it is in the form of debt or equity or even a mixture of both. We have to see what’s been submitted in the bids…we have no preference really but what we want is something that is functional for NRZ as well as profitable for the guys bringing in the money.”
At its peak, NRZ moved 18 million tonnes of freight annually. Last year, the company moved three million tonnes of freight and has a target of 3,7 million tonnes in 2017.