May 11, 2012
Transnet Freight Rail studies Botswana–SA coal linkBack
Johannesburg|Natal|Africa|CoAL|Eskom|Export|PROJECT|Projects|rail|Transnet|Witbank|Africa|Botswana|South Africa|Rail Infrastructure|Deidre Strydom|Infrastructure|Power|Limpopo
© Reuse this
Addressing delegates at the Coaltrans South Africa conference, in Johannesburg, she said the link would form part of the heavy-haul expansion in Limpopo’s Waterberg coalfields to bring coal from Botswana for export.
The heavy-haul line would have a capacity of 80-million tons a year when completed.
“Currently there is no rail infrastructure that crosses from Lephalale into Botswana, the idea is to build the link near the Stockpoort border post to link to Mahalapye or further south to link to Mmamabula,” Strydom said.
The line would run from the southern end of the Waterberg reserve to the northern side of the Botswana-run network to open the Mmamabula coalfields, and possibly the reserves located across the Zimbabwean border.
Strydom added that TFR had engaged with Botswana Rail to discuss the rail link and was currently actively marketing the project.
The coalfields in Botswana were among many drivers for the expansion of rail capacity in the Waterberg.
Global expansion in the seaborne thermal coal market, diminishing coal reserves in the Witbank region and new power stations in the Waterberg contributed to the urgency of solving logistical challenges in the area.
Strydom said TFR had a two-tiered approach to developing rail in the Waterberg, which included minor expansion options through enhancement of the existing route and infrastructure, as well as major expansion options that would result in the doubling of the current route, infrastructure upgrades and new heavy-haul routes.
The new Waterberg rail lines would run over 560 km and would include a new single line between Thabazimbi and Ermelo.
TFR planned to add 23-million tons a year to the capacity of the line running from Lephalale to Ermelo by 2020.
A new single bidirectional line would also be constructed between Lephalale and Ermelo from 2026 onwards. It would have a capacity of 112-million tons a year.
Strydom said that about R200-billion of Transnet’s R300-billion, seven-year rolling capital investment programme would be invested in rail, a good portion of which would be directed towards commodity export corridors. It would be spent on freight rail projects and included capital for the Waterberg rail expansion.
She added that, in addition to TFR’s plan to increase its coal rail line throughput to 81-million tons a year by 2014, it was also planning further investments to ramp up coal supply to State-owned power utility Eskom to 32-million tons a year, excluding the Tutuka and Camden power stations.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...