The Export Import Bank of China (ExIm Bank) has granted Mozambique a commercial loan of US$681.6 million, which will be used to fund construction of the Maputo-Catembe bridge, linking the two sides of Maputo bay, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.
The loan agreement was signed Wednesday in Beijing and a source from Mozambique’s Finance Ministry said that the figure accounted for 85 percent of the total cost that was still needed for the project to go ahead and that work could begin this year. The bridge is scheduled to take three years to build.
Overall, the Maputo-Catembe Bridge will cost US$725 million, 5 percent of which will be directly funded by the state budget and 10 percent by a subsidised loan also provided by the ExIm Bank of China and the agreement for which was signed during a visit by Mozambique’s Finance Minister, Manuel Chang, to China.
The project includes construction of a road between Maputo and Ponta d’Ouro, on the border with South Africa.
The two sides of Maputo bay are currently linked by boat and once the bridge is built the population of Catembe is expected to increase from 20,000 people at the moment to over 400,000 people. (macauhub)