Angola: Reconstruction of Benguela railroad to cost US$2 billion

18 August 2008

Lobito, Angola, 18 Aug – The reconstruction and equipping of the Benguela railroad will cost US$2 billion, Angola’s transport minister Augusto Tomás said in Lobito Friday.

Reconstruction of the railroad includes preparing the platform, repositioning rails and building new train stations with the caapcity to process hundreds of tonnes of cargo each day.

The de-mining of over 1314 kilometres, which was carried out over the last few years, also increased the cost of the project of reconstruction of the so-called Lobito corridor.

The transport minister said that despite the costs and other constraints and obstacles, such as a lack of support from the international community, the government was going ahead with its implementation of the national reconstruction plan, rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by the country’s civil war.

He said he believed that with the reconstruction of the Benguela railroad, thousands of Angolan residents in the provinces of Benguela, Huambo Bié and Moxico, and not only, would see their level of economic development rise in the short term.

He added that after it was built and equipped, the railroad would be able to transport 20 million tonnes of miscellaneous cargo each year and over 4 million passengers in the same period.

Information from the Chinese contractor responsible for the work, China Railway 20th Century Group Corporation, show that by next December the railroad’s trains will reach the city of Huambo and that in 2011 they will arrive in Luau in Moxico province. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH