In Angola, the China Railway Construction company has completed construction of the 1,344km Benguela railway, which connects the Atlantic port of Lobito to the eastern border town of Luau, where it provides onward connections over the rail network of the Democratic Republic of Congo.The line, which has cost $1.83 billion, will eventually carry 20mt of cargo annually to the port and should enter operations later this year.

Mineral exports from Catanga, in the Congo, and from Zambia, will be some of the main commodities that will use the railway. In preparation for this, the port has built a specialist minerals terminal, which is served by a 310m long quay and has a storage area of 200,000m2. This will serve ships of up to 50,000 tonness. Overall capacity at the terminal will be 3.6 million tonnes per annum.

Barry Cross