Angola: Government pledges support to Lobito port expansion

10 April 2008

Benguela, Angola, 10 April – The Angolan government says it will find ways to develop projects to expand the Port of Lobito, particularly the building of a dry dock valued at US$ 6 million.

State Secretary for the Public Sector Augusto da Silva Tomas said Tuesday on a visit to Lobito that the city’s port needs to be improved and expanded “taking into account the strategic importance in the context of the Angolan economy and the southern region of the African continent.”

Japanese consultants compiled a report last year on the Port of Lobito that concluded US$ 35 million needs to be spent on the maritime transport hub.

Carlos Gomes, director general of the Port of Luanda, said the new dry dock project will have a 10,000 hectare warehousing area.

The six-month rehabilitation project will be carried out by a Chinese company and will get underway later this year following authorization from the Luanda government.

The Port of Lobito is Angola’s second biggest after the capital’s port and handled more than 1.5 million metric tons of freight in 2007, an increase of 138,000 tons compared to 2006.

Lobito’s port has loading equipment allowing 800 tons to be processed daily from up to eight cargo ships.

It is planned to build a new dock in the Port of Lobito to allow exports to minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

The Port of Lobito employs 300 people and handles between 30 and 60 vessels monthly. (macauhub)