Reconstruction of Lobito-Luau railroad to begin in January

24 November 2005

Lobito, Angola, 24 Nov – The reconstruction of the railroad line linking Lobito (Benguela province) to Luau (Moxico province), in the South of Angola, a project financed by the People’s Republic of China, will begin in January 2006, the head of the Benguela Railroad (CFB) has said.

Daniel Quipache said that the 354 kilometers of line shall be in operation at the beginning of 2009, according to CFB projections.

At the same time as rebuilding the railroad, Quipache said, social infrastructures belonging to the CFB such as health centers and schools will also be refurbished.

“The operation of the railroad will bring numerous economic and social advantages to the population of neighboring areas,” said Quipache.

The head of the CFB declined to comment on the exact value of the investment, but said it would be financed through a credit line granted by China.

The credit line, agreed with Angola in 2004, provides USD 2 billion for reconstruction projects, with the possibility of increasing the sum by a further USD 1 billion.

The CFB has around 1,300 kilometers of railroad crossing Angola from the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern border.

The Lobito-Luau line, which was built between 1903 and 1929 and was deactivated in 1975 at the beginning of the country’s civil war, should reach Bié in the center of Angola by next year.

The reconstruction work will include repairing the track and bridges, rebuilding stations and clearing mines along some stretches.(macauhub)