Angola: Construction of dry dock in Lobito port begins

3 June 2008

Lobito, Angola, 3 June – Construction work to build the dry dock at the port of Lobito began Monday, the port’s general director told journalists.

Speaking to the press, José Carlos Gomes said that work on the dry dock, covering an area of 10 hectares, would take three months and that it was expected to relieve the large flow of goods that arrive at the port on a daily basis.

However, Gomes warned that creating the dry dock may not be the solution, if the issue of bureaucracy of all the sectors involved in dealing with goods was not reviewed.

Due to peace and investments that the government and business owners are making, the port of Lobito has grown year on year in terms of processing cargo.

The operation of the Benguela railraod, which is expected to be running by the end of the year, is seen as one of the factors that will boost goods traffic at Lobito port.

On 10 April, the Angolan secretary of state for the State Business Sector, Augusto da Silva Tomás, said that constrution of the dry dock represented an investment of US$6 million.

The port of Lobito, which is the second largest port in Angola, after the port of Luanda, in 2007 processed over 1.5 million tonnes of cargo, with a real rise of around 138,000 tonnes on 2006.

The port of Lobito has equipment with a capacity to unload 800 tons of cargo per day and is able to accommodate up to eight ships at a time.

The port of Lobito receives between 30 and 60 ships per month and employs 2,300 people. (macauhub)