US group General Electric (GE) is due to supply Angola with 100 locomotives and technical assistance, including for the engines of aircraft owned by Angolan airline Taag manufactured by the group, under the terms of a contract signed last week in Lobito.
The director of the Office for Studies, planning and Statistics of the Transport Ministry, Teresa Muro, said that buying the locomotives was essential for the development of the Lobito Corridor. The corridor links Angola to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to Zambia by rail and will allow products, including minerals, to be transported along it to these countries.
The president of GE Transportation, Lorenzo Simonelli, said that the contract was open-ended and added that the locomotives were technologically advanced and cost up to 200 million kwanzas (US$2 million) per unit.
At the beginning of the month the director of the Angolan National Railroad Institute, Júlio Bango Joaquim, said that in 1976 the Moçâmedes Railroad alone had at least 72 locomotives to carry minerals from Jamba and Chamutete to the port of Namibe, adding that “that number will likely need to be doubled”.
According to Angolan news agency Angop, the Joaquim noted that the country’s railways had been practically rebuilt and added that pressure from the market, particularly for transporting minerals, demanded a significant increase in traction capacity. (macauhub)