China Exim Bank to finance railway project in Mauritania

Updated: 2008-01-23 19:35

NOUAKCHOTT -- The Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) has agreed to provide funds for the construction of a major railway line connecting Kaedi in the south to the capital Nouakchott, official sources have said.

According to an agreement signed Tuesday by the Mauritanian Transport Minister Mohameden Ould Ahmed and Dai Chun Li, China Exim Bank general manager, the bank will provide 470 million euros (about US$686 million), equivalent to 70 percent of the total cost of the new railroad.

The remainder of the cost of the railway line is to be financed by Mauritania's Phosphate Company, which is one of the major beneficiaries of the project, according to Mauritanian government sources.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Mauritanian minister welcomed the signing of the agreement, which according to him underscored the depth of relations between Mauritania and China

"These relations were strengthened recently by the signing of a comprehensive agreement on the planned expansion of the Autonomous Port of Nouakchott," said the minister.

"This project will facilitate the exploitation of our mineral resources as well as the creation of various development activities in areas crossed by the railway line," the transport minister said adding that "this will also ease the movement of people and goods in the country."

According to the minister, the 430 km long railway line, Nouakchott and Kaedi, Mauritania's third city, through Tiguint, Mederdra, R'Kiz, Leguatt, Leeleibatt and Menjem Boffal, is to be constructed in three years time.

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