18 August 2014

Angola: Chinese Company Completes Massive Angolan Railway

Beijing — China Railway Construction, one of China's largest construction companies, finished building a massive railway line in Angola on Wednesday and plans to put into operation this year.

The 1,344-km Benguela railway is the second-longest railroad built by Chinese overseas, shorter only than the 1,860-km Tanzania-Zambia Railway built in the 1970s.

It will be the longest and fastest track in the southwestern African country of Angola, said Liu Feng, head of China Railway Construction's Angola railway project.

It connects Angola's Atlantic port of Lobito to the eastern border town of Luau, and further to the rail network of southeastern Africa's Democratic Republic of Congo.

The 67-station railway has a design speed of 90 km per hour, involving a total investment of 1.83 billion U.S. dollars, according to the company.

Liu said the Benguela railway also marks the successful application of China's railway standards in Africa.

The original Benguela railway was built in accordance with Portuguese standards and trains could only shuttle at 30 km per hour.

Liu said the rapid development of China's high-speed trains and commitment in price and quality had helped China Railway Construction win the project.

The railway, built in the form of EPC (engineering, procurement, construction), not only adopted Chinese standards, but procured all equipment from China. The project employed some 100,000 locals during construction and trained over 10,000 locals to be technicians.

The Benguela railway provides access to the inner part of Angola. When it is fully operational, it will be able to carry 20 million tonnes of cargo and four million passengers annually, according to earlier reports.

China Railway Construction, listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, focuses on railway, highway and subway construction.

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