Government Contemplates Construction of 1000km North-South Railway in Congo

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A North-South Railway in Congo, with a total length of 1000 kilometers is being considered for construction by the government of the Central African country to facilitate the evacuation of iron ore production via the ore port of Pointe-Noire.

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Discussed during the Council of Ministers on January 17, 2022, the project according to the government, could be an important lever for Congo’s mining projects, and it could also serve as a route to transport liquefied gas that the country plans to produce.

North-South Railway in Congo to complement Mayoko to Pointe-Noire port railway

The North-South Railway in Congo will complement the 412km new Mayoko to Pointe-Noire port railway that is set to help with the transportation of about 12 million tonnes of iron per year in southwestern Congo.

The railway project will be developed and constructed by SAPRO Mayoko (a Sapro Group subsidiary and the first iron ore producer and exporter in the Congo, the only company operating Congo’s iron mines in Mayoko, near the border with Gabon.), and Thelo DB (a partnership company between Thelo Ventures (Pty) Limited and Deutsche Bahn represented by DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH).

Embodied by Paul Obambi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sapro Mayoko SA, and Ronny Ntouli, the CEO of Thelo DB, the two companies signed a US$ 1.1bn agreement for the implementation of the project in the third quarter of 2021.

Rehabilitation of the old Mayoko to Port of Pointe-Noire rail section

The US$ 1.1bn agreement signed between Sapro Mayoko SA and Thelo DB in addition to the construction of the new Mayoko to Pointe-Noire port railway section, also covers the rehabilitation of the old 182 km rail section from Mayoko to the Autonomous Port of Pointe-Noire (Le Port Autonome de Pointe – PAPN).

This old railway section, due to numerous incidences where rail vehicle such as a train comes off its rails, makes it difficult to transport iron from Mayoko to PAPN.