Trans-Kalahari Railway

From Global Energy Monitor

The Trans-Kalahari Railway is a proposed 1500 kilometre long heavy heal railway from the Botswana's Mmamabula coal fields to Walvis Bay in Namibia.[1]

2014 Memorandum of Understanding

In March 2014 the Government's of Namibia and Botswana signed a Memorandum of Understanding the development of the 1500 kilometre railway. While the two governments have signalled their commitment to the project, they want private sector proponents to undertake the project. Botswana's Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Onkokame Mokaila, said that the primary motivation for the project was to be able to allow the export of up to 65 million tonnes of coal a year from Botswana through Walvis Bay. "Coal will continue to be one of the cheapest sources of power for some time to come. Therefore, for Botswana, this project is absolutely key," he said.[2]

Following the agreement between the two countries, the governments plan to seek a developer for the project and an estimate of the costs.[2]

In September 2015 Namibia and Botswana established a joint office to resolve legal and cross-border issues in developing the railway.[3]

Southern African Gateway Port

Construction of the proposed Southern African Gateway Port is highly dependent on the planned Trans-Kalahari Railway, which would link Botswana to Walvis Bay. The first three phases of the port would handle oil and natural gas. Construction on these phases is planned to begin in 2015. Phase five, the Botswana Coal Terminal, would handle about 100 million tonnes of coal per annum. It would be a storage facility for coal imported from Botswana for export.[4]

Articles and resources


  1. Paul Baruya and John Kessels, Coal Prospects in Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia, International Energy Agency Clean Coal Centre, December 2013, pages 68-71.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Namibia and Botswana Sign Railway Deal",, March 24, 2014.
  3. "Southern Africa: Trans-Kalahari Railway Project Takes First Step," All Africa, Sep 16, 2015
  4. "Southern Africa: SADC Gateway Port Takes Off," All Africa, March 17, 2015

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