Chinese companies interested in Benguela railroad in Angola

10 July 2019

Chinese businesspeople are interested in using the Benguela railroad (CFB) to transport goods from the interior of Angola and neighbouring countries to international markets, the Chinese ambassador to Angola said on Tuesday in Lobito.

The Angop news agency, citing ambassador Gong Tao’s statements, said the companies interested in this project were the China Harbor Engineering Corporation, responsible for the reclassification of the port of Lobito in 2013, COSCO and Sinotrans, focused on logistics, maritime and rail transport.

The ambassador added that the commodities and raw materials produced both in the interior of Angola and in neighbouring landlocked countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, can use this corridor of the CFB and the port of Lobito to reach the international market including China.

Benguela Railway Chairman Luís Teixeira said on Monday that rail freight, including ore from the Democratic Republic of Congo, will be reinforced with 300 new wagons that were ordered from the Chinese Sinotrans group.

Speaking at the end of the visit of the Chinese ambassador, Luís Teixeira said that with the arrival of the wagons, freight transport will increase from 94,000 tonnes per year to more than 300,000 tonnes, including international traffic, notable ores mined in the regions of Catanga, in the DR Congo.

Without giving dates or the amount to be invested in the acquisition of new equipment, Teixeira said these wagons will be paid through freight discounts, as the Sinotrans group is a CFB customer and also has a stake in the Congo mines.

With a 1344-kilometre rail line from Lobito in Benguela to Luau, in the eastern Angolan province of Moxico, on the border with the DRC, the Benguela Railroad already transports ore to the Atlantic port of Lobito under a cooperation agreement signed in 2017 with the National Railway Company of Congo (SNCC). (Macauhub)