SNCFT/Line n°13: Phosphate and goods trains resume traffic

(TAP) – The National Company of Tunisian Railways (SNCFT) on Friday evening announced that the traffic of night trains carrying phosphates and goods on the line n°13 between Sfax and Tozeur via Metlaoui has resumed activity.


The SNCFT has mobilised a 20-wagon train to ensure the transport of 1,300 tons of phosphates between Metlaoui and Skhira.


The company underlined in this regard, the efforts exerted by the various stakeholders to ensure the resumption of traffic on this line considered as a vital and strategic artery affecting not only the activity of the company and its revenues but also the national economy.


The production of commercial phosphate of the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG) had reached 1.27 million tons during the first half of 2021, against an initial projection of 2.1 million tons, acting central production manager Lotfi Hamdi stated on July 2 to TAP.


This 40% drop compared to the forecast is due to the various social protests staged by job seekers in the region, he explained.


The CPG expects a production of 400,000-450,000 tons per month during the second half of 2021, the official said, adding that the production of commercial phosphate would reach 500,000 tons if the phosphate production unit in Redeyef resumes its activities halted for a year.


The railway line n°13 between Sfax, Gafsa and Tozeur is of utmost importance for the SNCFT, providing 42% of the company’s annual revenues.


Rail traffic on this line has been disrupted since 2012, causing financial difficulties for CPG and SNCFT due to social protests, and has raised a lot of controversy about the transport of phosphates by truck.


Source: TAP News Agency