Lobito Invests For Transit Trade
BMI notes that the South African port of Cape Town is under increasing competition for transit business in southern Africa as ports in nearby Namibia and Angola invest in developing their own facilities. The Angolan port of Lobito is one facility that is being expanded along with investment in its intermodal links.
The Port of Lobito recently played host to two Chinese vessels carrying new equipment for the port - this included two ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes, rubber-tyre gantries, and another crane. This is part of the investment being made in developing the port's cargo handling facilities, taking advantage of Lobito's natural harbour in order to create an effective maritime facility. The government of Angola has invested US$1.2bn in the Port of Lobito to expand its handling capacity to 11mn tonnes. Empresa Portuaria Do Lobito chairman, Anapaz de Jesus Neto, said the funds have been used to construct a new import and export terminal for mining products, which is close to completion, as well as to extend the port's quay to allow 12 vessels to dock simultaneously. The port handled 88,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and 2.7mn tonnes of cargo in 2011. A new container terminal is also being constructed, for which the cranes were being delivered.
BMI notes that the investment in the port is being done in tandem with investment in its intermodal connections, with refurbished railway lines connecting the facility to the rest of the Angolan rail network. A total of 2,700 kilometres of Angolan railroads were reconstructed in the last few years, according to Angola's Transport Minister Augusto Tomás. More than US$3.3bn was spent on three key railroads - Luanda, Benguela and Namibe. The reconstruction programme entailed the railroads and 148 stations, as well as included the cost of 243 units of rolling stock such as locomotives, wagons and coaches. The programme also involved the construction of workshops and professional training centres. The reconstruction work on the three railroads is being done by Chinese companies with financing from the Chinese government.
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