Guinea: SMB-Winning Consortium Launches New 135-kilometer Railway

The SMB-Winning Consortium, in the presence of its President and CEO Mr. Sun Xiushun, the President of the Republic of Guinea, His Excellency Professor Alpha Condé, and several members of the Guinean Government – represented by the Minister of Mines and Geology, Mr. Abdoulaye Magassouba, and the Minister of Investment and Public-Private Partnerships, Mr. Gabriel Curtis – together laid the foundation stone for a new railway this Friday.

This event marks the beginning of the revival of the Guinean railway sector while the last construction of a railway line dates back to the 70s. With this new railway axis Dapilon-Santou which opens up a part of the country from East to West, the Guinea is accelerating its transition to a more diversified and extended railway network with a view to mutualisation and multiple uses for the long-term development of the country.

The railway will connect the Dapilon terminal of the Boké port and the SMB deposits located in Santou and Houda towards the Prefecture of Telimélé. Approximately 135 kilometers long, it will consist of numerous structures including 23 bridges and 3 tunnels for a total cost estimated at $ 1.2 billion. In parallel, the Dapilon terminal will benefit from additional investments in its infrastructure to become a true maritime and rail intermodal terminal, while the Port of Boké has already been registered in the International Maritime Information System of the International Maritime Organization. (IMO) in 2018.

With the construction of this railway, the SMB-Winning Consortium becomes a major player in the infrastructure and transport sector in Guinea, having already contributed to the renovation and construction of many roads, including a paved road of 16 kilometers, the construction and management of two river terminals (Katougouma and Dapilon) for the Port of Boké and now the revival of the Guinean railway sector with this new axis Dapilon-Santou.

In terms of local benefits, the construction of this railway will allow the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, the training of many Guineans and benefit many Guinean companies engaged as service providers on this major infrastructure project. To ensure that the CSR policy applied to the construction of this railway meets the highest international standards, the SMB-Winning Consortium relies on two partners of excellence in the field: the Society of Environmental and Social Expertise (SEES) and the international law firm Louis Berger.

In addition, this railway is part of the project to develop an agricultural corridor for growth. The SMB-Winning Consortium has thus undertaken to encourage and support the establishment and development of numerous agricultural projects along the railway with a view to contributing to the diversification of the Guinean economy and job creation. sustainable. The SMB-Winning Consortium already has extensive experience in agricultural development through numerous projects in the Boké region.

The SMB-Winning Consortium has signed with the Government of the Republic of Guinea three conventions, unanimously ratified by the National Assembly in December 2018, for the realization of an integrated project for the region of Boké representing an investment of 3 billions of dollars. This investment is part of the Special Economic Zone initiated by the government. These agreements concern the construction of a railway line in a corridor extending from the Boffa region to the Boké region, the production and industrial exploitation of bauxite resources in the new mining areas of Santou II and Houda and the construction and operation of an alumina refinery in the Boké Special Economic Zone.

« The construction of this new rail line is a testament to Guinea’s attractiveness for mining investors, » said Abdoulaye Magassouba, Minister of Mines and Geology. The reforms led by the government have allowed companies like the SMB-Winning Consortium to grow rapidly and place Guinea in the top three of world bauxite producers within a few years.  »

Mr. Sun Xiushun, Chairman and CEO of the SMB-Winning Consortium, said: « The laying of this foundation in the presence of the President of the Republic of Guinea is a testament to the win-win partnership that the Consortium has established with Guinea. It is through common values ​​- mining and industrial development, content and local employment – that the Sino-Guinean friendship is illustrated by materializing through large-scale projects such as this new railway.  »

« Since the beginning of our project, the inclusive and sustainable dimension is essential as evidenced by the importance we place on local content and community relations, » said Mr. Wazni, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Boké Mining Corporation ( SMB). It is by being fully involved in the change and development of Guinea that the SMB-Winning Consortium will succeed its project in the long term.  »

« With the start of work today, we are aiming for a start of operations in 2022, » said Frédéric Bouzigues, General Manager of the SMB. I would like to remind you that our environmental and societal commitments are at the heart of the Consortium’s strategy and are included in the specifications for the construction of the railway. Our CSR policy is defined by the precise application of the recommendations of our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), which will be followed by Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMP) and Resettlement and Compensation Action Plans ( PARK).  »

About the SMB-Winning Consortium
Founded in 2014, the SMB-Winning consortium brings together four global partners in the field of bauxite mining, production and transportation: Singapore’s Winning Shipping Ltd, a leading Asian shipowner; the Yantai Port Group; UMS, a transport and logistics company present in Guinea for more than 20 years; Shandong Weiqiao, a leading Chinese company in aluminum production. The Republic of Guinea is a shareholder of 10%.
Since its inception, SMB-Winning has invested more than US $ 1 billion in extractive activities in the Boké region. The consortium, which directly employs over 9,000 people, also built and manages two river terminals.

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