THE CHINA Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) intends to embark on the construction of the railway from Chipata to Mpika station and from Nseluka to Mpulungu at a total sum of US$ 2.7 billion.
This means that Eastern line would cost of US$ 1,992,028,500 while the Northern line would gobble US$ 668,115,000 at a US$ 3 million per kilometre for the two lines.
The total length for the two lines is 760.04 kilometres.
In 2011, the Chinese company signed the feasibility agreement with the Zambian Government on the construction of the Chipata to Tazara at Mpika via Petauke and Nseluka to the port of Mpulungu railway lines in Eastern and Northern Provinces.
CCECC vice president Zhao Zhongning when he paid a courtesy call on assistant secretary Beenzu Chikuba disclosed in Chipata yesterday that this would be done after the company had successfully completed the feasibility studies on the construction of the railway line.
Mr Zhao said the construction of Eastern line would be done concurrent saying it would be constructed within five years.
He explained that the company would embark on the construction of the railway lines for Eastern and Northern lines beginning next year.
He said the Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) between the Government of Zambia and his company are expected to be signed this week with Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Rowland Msiska for the construction of the railway line.
He said the construction of the railway from Mpika to Chipata would cover 569.151 kilometres while the liner from Nseluka to Mpulungu extends a total of 190.89 kilometres.
Mr Zhao said his company was currently enjoying the cordial relationship with the Zambia and Tanzania because of the already existing railway line.
He said the construction of the railway line would assist in the integration and promotion of economic developments in Eastern and Northern Zambia.
The vice president said Zambia’s main sea route channel for import and export of goods to East African community and SADC would be entirely dependent on the railway line.
He also disclosed that the company was planning to construct the railway designed with electronic in order to easy the movements of goods and services in the country.
And Mr Chikuba said the Government was pleased with the company for starting to construct the two rail lines.
She said the Government was looking forward to working the CCECC in the construction of important links such as the railway line in the country.
The Eastern line, the railway line starts from Mpika station advances through the mountainous regions at the west foot of the Muchinga escapements passes the Chipelembe, Musalemo and Chikonde regions to Chipata town while the Northern line traverses from Nseluka and passes through Ngolo, Kaunguluka, Katebula to the port of Mpulungu.