#Guinea’s Freight Rail: Important Milestone in Dapilon-Santou Railway Project

Guineemining.info: The Winning Consortium Railway Guinea (WCRG) completed work on the assembly of the main structure of the two major stacker-reclaimers, starting railway line Dapilon (Boke) to Santou ( Télimélé) in the administrative region of Boké in the sights of the giant mining investors.


The assembly process, which they say lasted two months, was finalized 15 days before the contract deadline for the work.

This means that a “good start” was given to the construction work of the Dapilon-Santou railway in 2021.

According to professionals, “These two stacker-reclaimers were designed and manufactured by the Chinese group Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry (Group for the railroad) Dapilon-Santou in the Republic of Guinea.

Thus, each device weighs 1,200 tons and stands 30 meters in height.

This is why, since the signing of the supply contract on June 18, 2019 between the Government of Guinea and that of the People’s Republic of China, the two stacker-reclaimers have been directly submitted for examination for design and construction supervision. on the indicated site.

With the coordination of port and land services for ship loading, and after sea transport crossing two continents and three oceans, the two stacker-reclaimers finally arrived at the much-talked-about railway construction site.

Note that the tonnage and size of these two stacker-reclaimers can be considered “super large.”

What moreover posed enormous difficulties to their assembly. During the busiest hours, it will be necessary to operate at the same time 5 large-scale and medium-scale cranes as well as 2 machines for the function at high altitude.

The Dapilon-Santou railway construction team of the Consortium, in close coordination with the apparatus assembly team, has already demonstrated the lifting plan on several occasions and the implementation of various protective measures.

The good news is that the assembly work was finally completed with great success.

As a reminder, the Dapilon-Santou railway is invested, managed and built independently by the SMB-Winning Consortium. It is a railway specially dedicated for a departure, to the transport of ore. Located between the area of ​​Boké and Kindia in Lower Guinea, the line extends over a distance of 135 km. This railway, whose entry into service is planned for the month of June 2021, will also be used to transport bauxite in the mining area of ​​Santou (Télimélé) of the Consortium.

In short, this railway is an important infrastructure for companies operating in the exploitation of bauxite located along this axis.

According to specialists, “This rail infrastructure is one of the biggest investments in the mining sector over the past 40 years.”

It would recalled that the first rails of the # track of the Boffa-Boké Project were laid last year. This new railway line is the first under construction since the 1970s.

Following the arrival in Guinea of ​​the heavy railcar GC-270, Winning Consortium Railway Guinea (WCRG), in charge of the construction and management of the railway as part of the Boffa-Boké Project of the SMB, the phase of laying the rails started.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, WCRG and the construction unit of the 18th department of China Railway Construction (CRCC) reorganized the construction plan to ensure the integrity of workers, entry of equipment and materials on the Guinean territory, while respecting the objective of completing the operation of the railway in June 2021.

During this construction phase, WCRG is committed to promoting local content and employment. Thus, many Guinean companies are currently participating as a subcontractor in the construction of the railway, contributing to the creation of local jobs. With the Boffa-Boké Project, SMB contributes to technology transfer and local training.

Crossing the regions of Boké and Kindia, this 135-kilometer railway line aims to connect the Santou II and Houda deposits to the Dapilon river terminal. This new line will include 23 bridges, two tunnels and six depots. While Guinea suffers from an infrastructure deficit, this new railway line is the first under construction since the 1970s in the country. Initially dedicated exclusively to the transport of ore, in the medium term it will also allow goods to be transported.

As part of the Master Plan for Auxiliary Mining Infrastructures (SDIAM), companies are encouraged to explore all opportunities for pooling on public or private infrastructure already operational and on new ones under construction. SMB therefore collaborated with the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) on the opening of two tunnels, a first between two mining operators in Guinea.

SMB’s total investment in the Boffa-Boké Project is US $ 3 billion. It includes the construction of a railway line and the operation of the Santou II and Houda deposits, but also the construction and operation of an alumina refinery in the Boké special economic zone as well as a agricultural corridor of growth along the railway line.

For Frédéric Bouzigues, Managing Director of the SMB: “I am very proud to see that despite the logistical difficulties and the health risk generated by the pandemic during this year 2020, the SMB and particularly the WCRG teams have succeeded in keeping the schedule that we set ourselves in 2018. With the implementation of the Boffa Boké Project in 2021, SMB will strengthen its position as an African leader in the production and export of bauxite ”.

The construction of the Dapilon-Santou railway of the SMB-Winning Consortium had reached a crucial milestone with the signing of the contract in 2019 for the construction of the Dapilon-Santou railway with China Railway 18th Bureau Group Co, Ltd and China Railway 14th Bureau Group Co, Ltd. 

Mr. Tony Sun, Vice President of Winning International Group and Representative of SMB-Winning Consortium Railway Company, Ltd, Mr. Chen Ertao, Representative of China Railway 18th Bureau Group Co, and Mr. Zhang Zeyong, Representative of China Railway 14th Bureau Group Co. Ltd. respectively signed the engineering and railway construction contracts. 

This signing markes the official launch of the construction phase of the Dapilon-Santou railway of the SMB-Winning Consortium, which will allow operations to begin in June 2021.

Many organizations participated in the call for tenders which assessed both the technical aspects and the capacities of the companies and their compliance with the policies of the SMB-Winning Consortium. After the evaluation of the bids by the experts and specialists of the SMB-Winning Consortium, it was finally China Railway 14th Bureau Group Co, Ltd. and China Railway 18th Bureau Group Co, Ltd which were chosen to build two segments of the Dapilon-Santou railway.

“The official signing of the engineering contracts means that the Dapilon-Santou railway of the SMB-Winning Consortium has officially entered its construction phase and marks the start of work for the commissioning of the railway before June 16 2021, ”said Tony Sun, Vice President of Winning International Group and representative of SMB-Winning Consortium Railway Company, after signing the

On March 29 2020, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Dapilon-Santou railway of the SMB-Winning Consortium took place in the Dapilon region.

Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea, was personally present at the ceremony. Thousands of guests were present to attend the ceremony. Among them were the Guinean Minister of Mines and Geology Abdoulaye Magassouba, the Minister of Investments and Public-Private Partnerships Gabriel Curtis as well as other representatives of the government, local authorities and leaders of international companies

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