June 6, 2002

Namibia to establish a locomotive manufacturing plant

TransNamib Chairman Klaus Dierks said that the plans to set up a locomotive manufacturing plant at Usakos are still alive. Dierks said that he would accompany President Sam Nujoma during his six-day official visit to Germany, starting on June 11, to secure funding from the German Development Bank (KfW) for the multi-million-dollar factory.

Namibia, South Africa and Germany will team up on the planned locomotive plant, Dierks said. Once fully operational, the Usakos plant will export diesel and electric locomotives to the regional and overseas markets. Dierks said he will meet German business partners and seek backing from German political office-bearers. He added that the Usakos plant forms part of TransNamib's plans to create other sources of generating revenue.

The project was first mooted in 1999 when Dierks was still Transport Deputy Minister. However, it did not take off due to a lack of interest from the TransNamib management. Dierks said the venture will not only create a new source of revenue for TransNamib, but will boost the economy of Usakos. The TransNamib Chairman said he will be able to provide further details on the project in six months' time. (THE NAMIBIAN)

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