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Press release

Lobito Atlantic Railway orders new container wagons

Published on19 Jun 2024

Lobito, Angola, 19 June 2024 – The Lobito Atlantic Railway (LAR), the concession holder for the operation, management and maintenance of the Lobito Corridor, has placed an order for 275 new container wagons from South African company Galison Manufacturing for an undisclosed sum.

 

The container wagons will be delivered in three tranches with the first wagons due to arrive in Lobito from the fourth quarter of this year. They will be able to carry 10, 20 and 40 ft long containers, giving flexibility for the load transported.

 

This order is an important next step in the refurbishment of the railway and its operational capacity to transport cobalt and copper from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia and goods from Lobito to the DRC. The order for new wagons is part of the investment announced when the 30-year concession was signed in November 2022.

 

The wagons are being made from high-strength steel to increase the durability and reduce the weight of each wagon, which in turn will allow for higher loads to be carried. The manufacturing process involves extensive use of modern fabrication methods including computerised beam saws and robotic welding cells.

 

Francisco Franca, CEO of LAR, commented: “The new wagons are compatible with the existing rolling stock in the SADC region. They were designed considering local conditions on the railway to ensure the smooth transport critical minerals and other materials for both domestic and international traffic. A team from LAR recently visited Galison Manufacturing’s facilities to monitor the start of production of the wagon prototypes that will start to be delivered later this year.”

 

Prototype wagon for the Lobito Atlantic Railway at Galison Group’s workshop in Welkom, South Africa.

 

ENDS

 

For further information please contact Lobito Atlantic Railway’s press office:

Hamilton Viage at Email: hviage@jlma.co.ao or Tel: +244 927 899 068

  

About the Lobito Atlantic Railway

A 30-year concession has been awarded to the Lobito Atlantic Railway consortium joint-venture company comprising Trafigura, a market leader in the global commodities industry, Mota-Engil, an international construction and infrastructure management company and Vecturis SA, an independent rail operator.

 

Since January 2024, the Lobito Atlantic Railway has been operating, managing and maintaining the railway line that extends across Angola for almost 1,300km between the Port of Lobito to Luau in eastern Angola and connects with the rail network run by the National Railway Society of the Congo (SNCC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Kolwezi, the heart of the Copperbelt.

 

The Lobito Atlantic Railway also operates the mineral terminal at the Port of Lobito that connects to the railway line. The port facilitates a faster and efficient service in a decongested port on the Atlantic coast.

 

The project to refurbish the railway line represents an investment of more than USD500 million over the lifetime of the concession. The investment will enable the renovation of sections of the railway line and associated infrastructure, in addition to investment for wagons and locomotives. A financing package, which includes a potential investment by the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), is currently under discussion.

 

After investment, the railway will provide a quicker western route to market for minerals and metals produced in the Congolese Copperbelt. The upgraded railway line will also help bring vital goods and resources into the region and support business development and commercial activity along the route.