Stability in Guinea Bissau allows re-launch of Buba and Boé projects

18 July 2011

Bissau, Guinea Bissau, 18 July – The climate of greater stability recently felt in guinea Bissau has given a new lease of life to the projects for the port of Buba and the Boé bauxite mine, promoted by Angolan investors, according to the Africa Monitor newsletter.

As well as greater political and social stability, resulting from increased security in the country, Angolan involvement in the projects has now been taken on directly by the Angolan government in the form of Minister of State, Carlos Feijó, said the Lisbon-based newsletter.

The two projects, which were launched in 2007, have been difficult to get off the ground due to instability in Guinea Bissau.

The delay is also linked to the economic and financial difficulties that Angola went through in 2009-10, which affected the investment capacity of its public and private companies.

More recently, Africa Monitor said, the construction project for the port of Buba has gone into a re-launch phase, whilst activities to develop the bauxite exploration project have also stepped up.

Geological surveys to establish the location of the port have recently been concluded by the Asperbras company, whilst preparations are being made for Angolan technical teams to set themselves up in the city of Buba to supervise the project.

The port of Buba is considered to be a project of high economic and strategic interest.

In Boé, preliminary field work is underway for the bauxite mine.

Alongside this contacts are being made with the Republic of Guinea with a view to expanding mining to bauxite reserves next to Boé, but located in the neighbouring country.

Attracted by the mining potential of the area and by the attributes of the port of Buba, china has shown interest in being involved in the projects, both on the side of the Portuguese-speaking country, and of its Guinean neighbours, as has Brazil’s largest and one of the world’s largest mining companies, Vale..

Buba is already raising increased interest from private companies as a result of expectations that the port and other peripheral activities will create an economic hub.

Asperbras, an engineering and construction company, is a partnership between Brazil’s Odebrecht and Angolan companies and is charged with construction of the port, a road and a railroad to provide a link to mining areas.

Bauxite Angola is 70 percent owned by an Angolan body linked to Sociedade Nacional de Petróleos de Angola (Sonangol) and Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI), and the remaining capital is in the hands of private Angolan and Guinean investors.

The economic feasibility of both projects will require construction of a railroad linking the mining area to the port of Buba.

The project also includes construction of a mini hydroelectric facility on the Corubal River, at Saltinho, to produce low cost electricity to feed the projects. (macauhub)