Rebuilding of Moçamedes railway in Angola to cost over US$1.2 billion

16 January 2006

Lubango, Luanda, 16 Jan – The rebuilding and modernization work on the Moçamedes railroad (CFM) in Angola will cost at least US$1.2 billion, Angola’s minister of transport said Friday in Huíla province on laying the railway’s first stone.

Minister André Luís Brandão added that the work, which is due to begin in March, would take four years and include the rebuilding of a 856-kilometer stretch linking Namibe (formerly Moçâmedes) to Kuando-Kubango (in the Southern region of the country) and its respective modernization.

The project will be financed by a US$2 billion credit line offered by China and the work is to be carried out by Chinese firm, China International Fund.

Construction of the Moçâmedes railroad, which links the coastal city of Namibe to Menongue, the provincial capital of Kuando Kubango, in the east of Angola, initially began on September 28 1905 and was completed on December 6 1961.

The line is a total of 907 kilometers long, including the branch lines linking the former mining areas of Jamba and Cassinga.

Currently, the CFM is currently in operation only between Namibe and
Matala, along a 425-kilometer stretch, and the stretch between Matala and Menongue has been out of commission for many years.

The announcement of the start of work on the CFM took place a week after the Angolan minister of transport attended an identical ceremony for the Benguela railroad (CFB), an important railway crossing Angola from the Atlantic coast to the eastern border, which is also due to be totally refurbished by August 2007.

The CFB, which was one of the main development factors in Angola, has a total length of 1,303 kilometers and links Lobito, in Benguela province, to Luau, in Moxico province, next to the country’s eastern border.

The third Angolan railway line is the Luanda railroad, which stretches for 479 kilometers and links the country’s capital to the city of Malange, and on which rebuilding work is also being carried out. (macauhub)