The line was badly damaged during Mozambique's 16-year civil war, which ended in 1992. Rebuilding began in 2002, but progress has been slow because of the need to clear thousands of landmines from the trackbed, and replace stolen materials.
The EIB funds will be used in a Euros 195 million project to reactivate the northern section of the line, which serves the Moatize coalfield in Tete province. Brazilian mining giant Vale is currently developing a coal mine in this area and Riversdale, Australia, also has a license to begin mining in the region. The output of the Moatize coalfield has been restricted so far by the lack of reliable transport links to the Indian Ocean port of Beira, a situation the reopening of the railway is intended to address.
The 128km section of the Sena Railway from Beira to Muanza reopened in 2007 and the remainder of the line is due to open in January 2010. It is expected to carry around 8 million tonnes of coal per year.