Mozambique is planning to build a $500m (R3.8bn) rail freight line by 2015 to connect its Moatize mines to the northern port of Nacala.

TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Paulo Zucula said the country estimates that this project will cost not less than half a billion dollars.

“This is a viable venture, we will do it either via Malawi or inside Mozambique,” said Zucula.

The rail line is expected to also serve Malawi for trade in other countries and is aimed at providing an alternative to releasethe congested ports of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya.

The country is also planning to invest $150m for port, rail and roads infrastructure upgrade in the Nacala Development Corridor over the next five years.