First stone of Maputo-Catembe bridge due to be laid Thursday

18 September 2012

The ceremony to lay the first stone of the Maputo-Catembe bridge is due to take place Thursday in the Mozambican capital, on the same day as the first stone of the Maputo ring road is also scheduled to be laid, the Mozambican press reported.

The project, costing US$725 million, was awarded to the China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), which was also awarded the tender to build the ring road around the Mozambican capital.

As well as the bridge itself, the contractor will also have to build the Catembe-Ponta do Ouro and Bela Vista-Boane roads, including improvements to the northern bank, which means carrying out work in the Malanga neighbourhood and in part of the Luís Cabral neighbourhood.

The future bridge as well as the roads will have tolls – four in total – in order to fund payments for a loan of US$681.6 million provided by the China Export Import Bank (ExIm) for a period of 20 years, with a five-year grace period and an interest rate of 4 percent.

The same Chinese bank also provided a subsidised loan of US$72.5 million for this project approved during a visit to China by the Mozambican Finance minister, Manuel Chang, and the remaining funding is covered by the State Budget.

Catembe currently has a population of 20,000, but once the urban development plan has been carried out and infrastructure is built, this figure is expected to increase to 400,000 people over the next 20 to 30 years.

The bridge will be 60 metres high and around 3 kilometres long and altogether the roads will be 209 kilometres long. (macauhub)