Trafigura, the trading company of Singapore wins the contract for the construction of a railway line which will allow the ore transport from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Angolan port.
The project will connect the mineral wealth of the DRC to Angola.
The corridor will have a total length of 1,870 km, of which 1,340 km will be in Angola and will arrive at the Angolan port of Lobito located 500 km south of Luanda, the Angolan capital.
Trafigura joined forces with the Portuguese entrepreneur Mota-Engil and Vecturis a Belgian rail developer, to win this contract, the consortium will thus benefit in exchange for a 30-year concession. The concession, which could be extended by 20 years if they decide to build a branch line to Zambia. The bid was chosen over a competing bid from Chinese conglomerate CITIC and China Railway 20 Bureau Group.
Composition of the consortium.
The consortium is made up of Trafigura 49.5%, Mota-Engil 49.5% and Vecturis 1%.
Concession value: $100 million. Consortium investment: $256 million in infrastructure and $73 million in rolling stock. Royalties expected by the Angolan government over 30 years: 2 billion dollars.
This corridor could considerably improve the export capacity of the DRC which currently exports copper, cobalt and other minerals to the east via Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Beira in Mozambique or to the south towards Durban in South Africa, a risky trip that takes several weeks
The consortium will be responsible for the operation, management and maintenance of the rail link, which will transport minerals, liquids and gas to Lobito from the Angolan town of Luau, which is close to the border with the DRC.
"As export volumes have increased to meet the demand for minerals needed for the energy transition – cobalt is needed for lithium-ion batteries – roads out of the DRC have become more congested and delays at the border more protracted. A rail route would remove trucks from the roads and offer “considerable cost and time savings for miners in the Copperbelt”.
The Lobito Corridor tender was launched in September, following the expenditure of some $2bn by the Angolan government to rehabilitate and modernise the corridor’s existing infrastructure".