A consortium comprising Mota-Engil, Trafigura and Vecturis is set to begin operating the Lobito Corridor railway in Angola under a 30-year concession announced earlier this year.
The contract with the Angolan Ministry of Transport was formally signed in the capital city of Luanda in early November.
The Lobito Corridor will help efficiently transport energy transition minerals such as copper and cobalt, from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The 1,290-kilometre railway runs from the port of Lobito to Luau in eastern Angola, close to the DRC border.
The concession contract can be extended for up to 50 years, if the consortium chooses to build a planned 259km branch extension connecting into Zambia.
Commodities trading firm Trafigura and Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa hold a 49.5% stake each, while independent Belgian rail operator Vecturis owns 1%.
Mota-Engil is listed on Euronext Lisbon. Last year China Communications Construction Company acquired a 32.41% stake in the company.
Under the 30-year concession for rail services and logistical support, the consortium will invest significant capital in upgrading the rail infrastructure and adding new freight trains. Initial investment will be around US$450 million, including US$170 million for the rolling stock.