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China restores copper rail line for Angola

Updated: 2014-08-13 16:47
( CCTV.com)

China restores copper rail line for Angola

Train between Lobito and Benguela in Angola. [Photo/IC]

The Chinese railway company completed the rebuilding of the Benguela railway in Angola on Wednesday.

With a length of 1,344 kilometers and 67 stops, it is the longest railway the Chinese company has ever helped to build in Africa since the 1970s.

The Benguela Railway was first built under contract by Portugal, Angola's former colonial ruler, to export metal from Zambia and Congo.

The construction began in 1903, was suspended during World War I, and completed in 1929. But the railway was badly damaged in 2002 after the 27-year civil war.

"The Benguela railway including the rails and other infrastructure have been damaged in the war, and the most difficult part is we didn't know how to rebuild it," said a railway transport official in Angola.

Reconstruction began in 2006 after a 300 million US dollar loan from the China International Fund. And China's Railway Construction Company started to rebuild the railway on Sept 16, 2007.

"We have introduced Chinese products and technologies to Africa, and we also promoted the export of Chinese equipment like engines. The import volume has reached three billion US dollars," said Liu Feng, director of the railway project in Angola.

At present, parts of the railway have been put into operation, and the entire line is expected to start operation at the end of this year, with a speed of 90 kilometers per hour.

As the line starts from the port of Lobito to reach the border of Zambia, it is believed that the reconstruction will help the economy in Angola, as well as its neighboring countries.

"The rebuilding of Benguela railway will not only contribute to the economic development in Angola, but also the economic development in some neighboring countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia," said the railway transport official.

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