SOE helps improve infra in Africa

Release Time:2024-02-26 17:02 Article Source:China Daily

While most Chinese residents celebrated their Spring Festival holiday in the cold winter weather last week, nearly a thousand Chinese and Cameroonian engineers and workers rushed to advance the Ntui-Mankim highway project to its final stages in the African nation, laboring in temperatures around 28 C.

The 96.7-kilometer-long highway project, which runs through Cameroon's Centre and Adamawa regions, is being built by State-owned China Railway 20th Bureau Group Corp, a subsidiary of Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corp Ltd. The company said it was the prime time of the year for construction in the west-central African country, as the rainy season has since passed.

By organizing more than 40 Chinese engineers and over 800 local staff to fully advance the construction progress of the remaining roadbed and ancillary projects for the Ntui-Mankim highway project, Xi'an, Shaanxi province-based CR20G started the asphalt paving construction of the experimental section for the project in mid-February.

Under the work schedule, the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

"Although the total length of the experimental section is only 200 meters, it is the key basis for the asphalt concrete mix ratio and paving thickness of the entire project," said Shi Fei, project manager for CR20G's Ntui-Mankim highway project.

The tropical rainforest, with its abundant rainfall, provides a wealth of forestry resources to the local people in Cameroon. However, it also poses significant challenges to the construction team of the project.

"In Cameroon, the rainy season can last for more than half a year, during which the surrounding red clay becomes extremely sludgy after absorbing rainwater," said Shi, adding that this stickiness makes it difficult to unload the clay from trucks and hampers the roadbed filling process, severely affecting the progress of construction work.

The Chinese executive said that the phased construction of the Cameroonian highway is an important passage connecting Yaounde — the nation's capital — with various regions in the north, and also a crucial livelihood project for locals.

The abundance of ebony and mahogany trees in Cameroon is renowned worldwide, and after the completion of this road, wood and cash crops along the motorway can be directly transported to Yaounde or exported from the country's ports, further boosting the economy.

Shi said that to ensure the smooth progress of all construction aspects, CR20G's construction team has devised a comprehensive construction plan for the experimental section of asphalt paving.

Throughout construction, laboratory technicians monitor the quality of the asphalt mix and temperature control at each stage on-site, according to information released by CR20G.

"This project marks our inaugural venture in Cameroon," Shi said, stressing that the tangible growth of the Belt and Road Initiative will continue to enable deeper collaboration between China and partner countries in areas such as modern infrastructure, high-end manufacturing, services, environmental protection and smart city development over the long term.

China's nonfinancial ODI in other countries participating in the BRI amounted to 224.09 billion yuan ($31.14 billion) in 2023, an increase of 28.4 percent year-on-year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

With nearly 20,000 employees, CR20G has built a market presence in more than 20 countries, including Angola, Mozambique, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

With China planning to sign more high-quality cooperation deals with its partners for jointly developing the next phase of the BRI, many domestic companies are devising fresh strategies to enhance their market footprint in other countries and regions involved in the BRI, injecting impetus into the global economy, said Zhou Lisha, a researcher at the Institute for State-owned Enterprises of Tsinghua University.