In May 1999, a consortium led by RDC was awarded the concession for Malawi's railway, a network extending from the Zambian border in the West to connections with Mozambique's Nacala Corridor to the East and Mozambique's Beira corridor to the South (the Beira corridor has been closed since the mid 1980's as a result of Mozambique's civil war). Principal markets served are the capital city of Lilongwe and the main economic center of Blantyre.
The consortium Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte ("CDN") included RDC, ERL (Bermuda), MANICA (Mozambique), Mozambican private investors and CFM (Mozambique's Port and Railway Administration).
CDN formed the concessionaire company Central East African Railways ("CEAR") and began operations on December 1, 1999.
With the final concession of Mozambique's Nacala Port and Railway to the same consortium in January 2005, commercial and operational integration of the corridor provides a more efficient and competitive outlet for landlocked Malawi.
On September 12, 2008 RDC and ERL sold their interests in CDN to Mozambican investor group INSITEC. Now CEAR is jointly owned by a Brazilian mining and logistics giant, Vale, Mitsui of Japan and the Mozambican Railway Port Company, Caminhos de Ferro de Mozambique (CFM) as the main shareholders.
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