Vale Moçambique, a subsidiary of Brazilian group Vale, has hired South African company SVI Engineering to build and bullet proof 110 locomotives in operation in the country following some armed attacks, according to the defenseWEB website.
The website quoted Jacob de Kock, director of SVI Engineering, as saying that the company submitted a proposal for a tender launched in 2016, and was awarded the contract earlier this year. The contract covers the trains operating on the railway line that connects Moatize to Nacala, through Malawi.
De Kock also said that the installation of bullet-proof metal and glass began several months ago and that the order should be completed by the end of September.
The armour plating to be installed is designed to make the locomotives look perfectly normal, with the main aim of protecting the cockpit and the drivers.
Vale Moçambique’s coal-laden trains have been the target of armed attacks, particularly on the Sena line, linking Moatize to the port of Beira, in Sofala province, and the company has been forced to temporarily suspend rail transport.
De Kock told defenseWEB he believed that SVI is the only company in Africa to install armour on locomotives and that it was a niche market with potential, given that there are always many trains transporting raw materials in Africa. (source: Macauhub)