The support infrastructures for the Lobito Corridor, installed in the port of that city, in the province of Benguela, were visited, last Tuesday 7th Mar, by the ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain.
Manuel María Lejarreta Lobo received, on the occasion, explanations on the development of the Lobito Corridor, which is framed in one of the priority lines of the Angolan Executive in the field of rail and port transport, which aim to transform the space into an important transport option for access to countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia.
The Spanish diplomat watched the institutional video, where he obtained, among others, information on the geographic location of the Port of Lobito, port security, infrastructure, human resources and ISPS certification (International Code for the Protection of Ships and Port Facilities).
Manuel Lejarreta recalled that, recently, the Kings of Spain visited Angola within the framework of the good relations existing between the States and that it served to reinforce the friendship between the two peoples.
He recognized that there are good prospects for Spain to invest more in Angola, despite the constraints created by Covid-19, a phenomenon that is now outdated, so that new programs between States could be promoted.
According to the ambassador, a total of 40 Spanish companies currently operate in Angola.
Port of Lobito view
In turn, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Port of Lobito, Celso Rosas, expressed full satisfaction with the visit.
“It is always good to receive eminent figures from international politics. We believe that there is much to be done here, especially in the field of training. In this regard, we can seek Spanish experts with experience in port management and not only here in Angola to transmit the knowledge to improve the our performance and thus be able to face the new challenges, in particular with the Lobito Corridor”, he said.
According to Celso Rosas, still in the course of this first half of the year, the consortium that will explore some assets of the Lobito Corridor will be completed.
“We will have a new reality, in which our status as a port lord will be felt, although still in a hybrid way, because we will continue to operate in other terminals”, he explained.
The port manager explained that a set of preliminary actions is being prepared for these tasks, such as documents, infrastructures, workers and the works that, previously, must be carried out in the light of the contract.
The Lobito Corridor is a transcontinental infrastructure, which will connect several countries in Africa and contributes, through the Benguela Railway (CFB), to the realization of the economic integration of the continent.
The Lobito Corridor presents an alternative strategic route to the export markets of Zambia and the DRC and offers the shortest route linking the main mining regions of these two countries to the sea.
In Angola, the Corridor connects 40 percent of the country’s population and several large-scale investments are under way in agriculture and commerce in the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, Bié and Moxico.
Consortium enters operations in the 1st semester
The Consortium for managing the Lobito Corridor is made up of Trafigura, Vecturis and Mota Engil, whose 30-year concession was awarded through an international tender and a prize of US$100 million.
The infrastructure foresees transporting, in the first 5 years, three million tons of different cargo, increasing to 10 million in 10 years of activity.
It has US$500 million available to invest in all the assets granted, it will take over the operation and maintenance of rail freight transport, as well as the conservation and preservation of all existing infrastructure along the corridor.
The concession contract for the Lobito Corridor, for a period of 30 years, between the Ministry of Transport and the consortium, is an important milestone for the development and optimization of the sector.
With the corridor governance instrument, it will create a framework for the three SADC Member States to jointly develop harmonized laws, policies, regulations and corridor systems, including infrastructure development in a coordinated and coherent manner, in line with the ” SADC Treaties”, Protocols and development frameworks, such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030.
The Lobito Corridor, which starts in the province of Benguela, aims to benefit an estimated population of 140 million inhabitants, more than 40 percent of the population of the entire sub-region of the continent, with the capacity to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Angola, DRC and Zambia at US$177 billion, which corresponds to 25 percent of all the Southern African Member States, which form the SADC (Southern African Development Community) bloc.
Since the beginning of this year, North American and European Union delegations, the President of Zambia and several diplomats have visited the Port of Lobito, as was the recent case of the Spanish ambassador, Manuel María Lejarreta Lobo.
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