Locomotive Problems Won’t Affect Acid Deal

TRANSNAMIB’s locomotive problems will not compromise an acid transportation deal to be signed between the parastatal and Dundee Precious Metals.

Hans Nolte, Dundee general manager, yesterday said they will still sign the million-dollar deal even though they have had to hire trucks to transport their copper products after TransNamib locomotives had broken down.

The acid will be transported from Tsumeb to Windhoek.

Yesterday, The Namibian reported that Dundee had to incur huge expenses in hiring trucks to transport copper ore from Walvis Bay to Tsumeb and copper from Tsumeb to Walvis Bay.

“Since the locomotives gave in a few months back, it costs us a lot of money to have our products transported by road, especially over Christmas,” said Nolte. “The broken locomotives inconvenienced us but this will not affect the deal to transfer acid. It will be signed soon.” He, however, said TransNamib had informed them of their problematic locomotives six months ago and that the parastatal was working towards rectifying the problem.

Nolte said he was confident the deal would be signed soon for the project to be implemented by the third quarter of this year. TransNamib operations executive Michael Feldmann said the locomotives were experiencing mechanical problems, which can happen anywhere with any other modes of transport. Feldmann said the problems can be fixed and that TransNamib has extra locomotives to assist when the others malfunction.

Acting chief executive of TransNamib Hippy Tjivikua said his company has not failed Dundee but that it managed to transport the agreed number of tonnage. On Monday, Tjivikua told The Namibian that a manager at Dundee had informed him that the mine did not have any transport problems.

“We do not have particular locomotives assigned to a particular client except for oil tankers. But we have honoured our agreement with Dundee and have transported tonnages agreed on,” Tjivikua said.

When asked about the progress of the company’s 180 day turnaround strategy, Tjivikua said there will be a press conference soon.

The N$400 million 180 day turnaround strategy aims to refurbish locomotives, upgrade railways, and establish operational structures for employees amongst other things.

Source : The Namibian