Beijing: China on Thursday signed its largest overseas project with Nigeria to build a 1,402 km railway line along the African country's coast at an estimated cost of nearly USD 12 billion.
The contract is China's single largest overseas project, China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC) said.
Earlier this month, CRCC lost a USD 3.7 billion contract to build a high-speed rail link in Mexico after the country's legislature raised concerns about the nature of the bidding process.
Chinese state-owned enterprises have invested hugely in Nigeria's infrastructure, including in its oil and telecommunications sector, and elsewhere in Africa over the last decade.
The coastal 22-stop railway will stretch for 1,402 kms will link Nigeria's economic capital Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east, state run Xinhua news agency.
Trains will travel at a top speed of 120 km per hour, according to the CRCC.
"It is a mutually beneficial project," CRCC chairman Meng Fengchao said, adding that the coastal railway project will adopt Chinese technological standards and result in equipment exports worth USD four billion , such as construction machinery, trains and steel products.
"Meanwhile, the project will create up to 200,000 local jobs, directly or indirectly. Up to 30,000 fixed job posts may also be provided when the railway is operational," Meng said.
CRCC president Zhang Zongyan said that the company would undertake further studies on the targeted market in order to allow railway, a green and efficient transportation mode, to play a more significant role in Africa.