LIBERIA NEWS: ArcelorMittal-Liberia Responds to Inaccurate Claims in The Observer Newspaper

Monrovia, Liberia – May 19, 2024: ArcelorMittal-Liberia (AML) strongly refutes the claims made in The Observer’s newspaper’s article dated May 16, 2024, under the headline “Boakai Demands Clarity, Equity in Multiuser Railway Projects.” The article misrepresents AML’s stance and ongoing efforts regarding the Yekepa-to-Buchanan railway and port infrastructure, and we feel compelled to set the record straight.

The paper further claims “the President singled out the iron ore giant, ArcelorMittal-Liberia, whose use of the Yekepa-to-Buchanan railway falls short of the multiuser mandate established by the Government of Liberia.”

ArcelorMittal Liberian states that contrary to the Observer’s unprofessional conduct and disinformation against AML, there is no multiuser mandate currently established by the Government of Liberia, nor does AML fall short of any railway user agreements.

ArcelorMittal-Liberia has always been committed to the multiuser concept for the Yekepa-to-Buchanan railway. Contrary to the implications made in the article, AML has always been open to third-party use of surplus capacity on this infrastructure, as stipulatated in its Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) that was amended in 2006. The Government of Liberia, as the owner of this asset, holds the authority to decide on the inclusion of other users.

As part of its Third Amendment discussions with the Government over the past few years, AML has agreed to further details  that would clarify the amount of surplus capacity and its allocation for other users.

AML’s current expansion plans include significant investments in additional rail capacity to accommodate its future growth needs and ensuring that this rail infrastructure remains operational for the next 40 to 50 years.  This expansion will generate surplus capacity, projected to be available as early as 2026.  This railway has been rehabilatated and maintained to current American heavy haul standards.

In collaboration with the Government of Liberia, AML is dedicated to developing a detailed multiuser regime, based on  industry standards and principles, which will be applicable to all parties with provisions for haulage of other products in addition to iron ore.

Conclusion:  ArcelorMittal-Liberia remains committed to supporting Liberia’s infrastructure development in a manner that benefits all stakeholders. We urge The Observer and other media outlets to engage in accurate and responsible journalism, ensuring that public discourse is informed by facts rather than misinformation.

This statement reflects AML’s commitment to transparency and its proactive steps towards ensuring that Liberia’s infrastructure developments are equitable and beneficial to all parties involved.

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