The Angolan government plans to spend US$97.9 million on maintenance of the Luanda and Benguela railway lines, per the terms of presidential orders awarding the respective contracts to the companies that rebuilt them.
The US$42.9 million maintenance contract for the Luanda railway line was awarded to the China Railway International Group (CRIG), reports Lusa news agency.
That same document justifies the contracting of CRIG due to the “technical inability” of the company Caminho-de-Ferro de Luanda to “carry out line maintenance work that ensures the safety of its operation.”
The same argument is used in the other presidential order authorising the Transportation Ministry to contract for US$55 million the China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20) to take charge of maintenance for the line operated by Caminhos-de-Ferro de Benguela (CFB).
Reconstruction of the Benguela line was finished in 2015, thus restoring train links between Lobito on the coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo border at Luau.
Angola’s rail network was largely destroyed during the 27-year civil war. Its reconstruction (also including the Moçamedes line) cost nearly US$3.5 billion between 2005 and 2015. The project was undertaken by Chinese companies and involved 2,612 km of railway lines and the construction of 151 new stations. (Macauhub)