MONROVIA-ArcelorMittal Liberia has commissioned 50 new gondola wagons to boost rail operations in readiness for its Phase Two expansion project.
The 50 new wagons are the first consignment of a batch of 100 modern wagons to enhance the transportation of iron ore, from Yekepa in Nimba, to the Port of Buchanan, in Grand Bassa.
Rail Maintenance Manager, Mulbah Gbozee said the arrival of the new wagons will not only enhance rail operations, but it’s also a big boost to rail safety.
“The commissioning of these new wagons is a welcoming development that is in alignment with the company’s commitment to delivering safe tonnage,” Gbozee said.
He expressed appreciation to the AML management for its farsightedness in investing in the purchase of the new wagons and assured of his team’s continuous commitment to duty to ensure increased and safe tonnage.
With a capacity of 98 tonnes each, the new wagons will also help increase the company’s revenue contribution, to the government and its three operation counties.
Already the highest taxpayer for three consecutive years, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Phase Two expansion will triple production of iron ore from 5mtpa to 15mtpa, of high-value concentrate, with a further expansion of rail and port facilities, thus making the project one of the largest in West Africa.
As a result, the company’s annual contribution to County Social Development Funds (CSDF) in Bong, Grand Bassa, and Nimba will increase to US$3.5 million, 20% of which will directly benefit mining-impacted communities in the three counties.
The arrival of the equipment signals a key point for ArcelorMittal and the Government of Liberia’s landmark agreement signed last years.
The amendment to the company’s Mineral Development Agreement paves the way for the ongoing expansion AMLS’ mining and logistics operations in Liberia.
With the MDA amendment coming into effect, ArcelorMittal Liberia will significantly ramp up the production of premium iron ore, generating significant new jobs and wider economic benefits for Liberia.
The expansion project encompasses processing, rail, and port facilities and is one of the largest mining projects in West Africa with a capital investment of over a billion United States Dollars.
The Company is investing more than $US 200 million to expand the capacity of the railway.
About 3000 jobs are being created now during the construction phase, with Liberians filling most of these roles.