Lobito Corridor USA Investment to Amount to US$360 Million

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The United States has set plans of committing extra funds totalling to US$360 million for the construction of the Lobito Corridor USA Investment project, which is a railway link for exporting metals from the Copper belt of Central Africa. This information was released by the envoy of the United States, Hochstein on 8 February 2024.

In the recent years, the United States has been offering a lot of support to the Lobito Corridor Project that connects the mineral-rich areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to the Port of Lobito in Angola. The railway link is expected to bypass the logistics bottlenecks in South Africa that have been firmly holding the exports of both copper and cobalt.

In the year 2022, a consortium that was held by the global companies Trafigura, Mota-Engil of Portugal and also Vecturis SA of Belgium was accorded a 30-year concession for the railway services and also support logistics on the Lobito Corridor. The consortium has set plans of spending a total of US$455 million in Angola and another US$100 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo on equipment purchases, operation works, and lastly on the maintenance of the railway corridor infrastructure.

Another extra funding will be needed to enable the extension of the 1,700 kilometers railway line into Zambia in the coming second phase.

Lobito Corridor USA Investment Funding

“Currently, we have committed ourselves to fund a total of US$250 million for the Angola phase one of the Lobito Corridor project. I look forward to us adding additional resources for the upcoming second phase of the railway project,” Hochstein stated during an interview ahead of an investment forum on the project that would be conducted in Zambia.

The first phase entailed the upgrade works on the railway line on the Angolan side, and the second phase would entail the construction of a brand new multi-billion dollar railway that would run through Zambia and extend further.

The railway is expected to make an improvement as it is expected that there would be impressive volumes in using the rail by around June-July.

Lobito Corridor Project Manager

The elected project manager of the project is the African Finance Corporation (AFC). AFC had already secured funding commitments from the United Sates, European Union (EU) and even the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The mining firm dubbed as Ivanhoe Mines had even signed up to utilize the railway line for copper exports that originated from the DRC. Additionally, the US has plans of setting up such similar projects in the African continent and the rest of the world.

The United States would benefit from the accelerated trade in the area (region), which possesses very important minerals that would be required for 100% energy transition from fossil fuels. The involvement of the US in the Lobito Corridor can be seen as a way of countering the influence of China in Africa.

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