The Benguela Railway, which was built by the China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20), was on Thursday officially handed over to Angola in the port city of Lobito.
The 1,344-km railway runs through Angola, from west of the Atlantic port city of Lobito, eastward through important cities such as Benguela, Huambo, Kuito and Luena, and reaches the border city of Luao, bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to Han Shuchen, General Manager of CR20 Angola International Company, the Benguela Railway, which started construction in January 2006, was one of the most important projects in Angola after the civil war.
The total investment of the railway was about $1.83 billion. It was contracted by CR20 for design, procurement and construction with Chinese standards.
During the construction, CR20 created more than 25,000 jobs for locals, and trained more than 5,000 technicians, including drivers, line workers, communication and signal technicians, said Han.
“Because of natural disasters, diseases and landmines, more than 20 Chinese employees and two local employees sacrificed their lives in the construction of the project. Their lives were honoured for the unbreakable friendship between China and Angola,” he said.