Road to Complement Rail on Lobito Corridor

At the recent US-Africa Business Summit held in Dallas in May 2024, a group of financiers confirmed their interest to fund the road upgrade along the #LobitoCorridor. Several entities met at the Summit and sign an agreement to implement the road component of the #LobitoCorridor.

It is to be recalled that a consortium of companies joined hands to initiate a feasibility study for the Lobito Corridor Road Connectivity Project. The group is known as The Bridge Consortium and met in Pretoria to sign a consultancy agreement for the #LobitoCorridor in August 2023.

The Bridge Consortium identified the road from Lobito Seaport to Kolwezi as a potential and strategic complementary highway to the railway. Compared to rail, it is believed that the road will be cheaper and faster to implement, but the cargo capacity will be less.

The Bridge Consortium
The Bridge Consortium

The project cost is estimated at EUR 382 million. The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is the lead arranger and will contribute EUR 85 million, while the US Export-Import (USEXIM) Bank and US Private Export Funding Corporation will provide the balance.

In addition, Standard Chartered Bank has been designated to provide banking services and assist in structuring the deal. Conduril is a Portuguese EPC contractor which will undertake the civil works, and US firm Acrow will handle the bridges.

The Bridge Consortium highlights that the Lobito Road #Connectivity Project involves 186 bridges, thus the name of the group applied aptly to the project. The Lobito Corridor is being driven by Angola, which is a shareholder in AFC.