Jul 17, 2012
Rail utility hopeful of meeting 2012/13 coal target after slow startBack
Johannesburg|Natal|Anglo Inyosi Coal|BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa|Mitsui|Swaziland|Klipspruit Mine|Richards Bay Coal Terminal|Coal Processing Plant|Media Tour|Burtie Maree|Kox Gomba|Limpopo
© Reuse this
The RBCT received coal at an annualised rate of 66.41-million tons during June, a decline from the annualised tempo of 71-million achieved during April, the first month of the State-owned rail utility’s financial year. TFR had experienced three major derailments and two minor ones since its April shutdown, which had placed it on to the back foot.
But commercial manager Burtie Maree said on Tuesday that the performance had improved materially since the start of July and that it had achieved weekly tempos of up to 1.65-million tons – a rate that would yield more than 85-million tons if annualised.
Speaking during a media tour of the rapid rail load-out stations at the Phola coal processing plant, in Ogies, east of Johannesburg, Maree said the focus was on “catching up” volumes so as to meet the internal target of 77-million tons.
During its 2011/12 financial year, TFR moved 67.7-million tons, an 8.8% increase on the 62.2-million tons achieved in the prior year.
Similarly, the management team at Phola – a joint venture established by Anglo Inyosi Coal (AIC) and BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (Becsa) in 2009, and operated by Minopex, to process material from AIC’s emerging Zibulo colliery and Becsa’s Klipspruit mine – was to ramp up to nameplate capacity.
Phola engineering manager Kox Gomba said the facility, which processed material from the two Mpumalanga mines on a three-day rotation, had recently breach the 500-hour-a-month operational level, which meant that the facility was closing in on its nameplate of 567 hours a month. At such levels, the facility would be in a position to process nearly 16-million tons of coal yearly for the export and domestic thermal coal markets.
Barring operational problems or coal shortages, Maree said TFR had the infrastructure and the rolling stock in place to meet the 2012/13 budget. Plans were also advancing to ramp up that capacity of the corridor to 81-million tons “sustainably” by 2014.
The last of the 110 Class 19E locomotives being procured from a Mitsui-led consortium should be operational by year-end, while an additional 860 jumbo wagons would be added to the existing fleet of 7 800 by March 31, 2013. In addition, TFR planned to increase its yearly domestic coal volumes by 305% between 2012 and 2019 from nearly 8-million tons to around 30-million tons.
The larger Transnet group was also considering plans to facilitate a further expansion of coal exports to 98-million tons by 2019 as part of its R300-billion, seven-year market demand strategy.
Initiatives to unlock domestic and export coal resources from the Waterberg region of the Limpopo province were central to this expansion.
It was planning a phased introduction, with the first phase likely to facilitate the movement of 23-million tons. The immediate priority, though, was to reduce congestion at the key Ermelo rail junction by diverting general freight via a Swaziland link.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Electricity News
The use of biofuels, as a renewable-energy source, presents the potential for numerous environmental, energy security and efficiency benefits to the South African economy, says law firm ENSafrica senior associate environmental law division senior associate Andrew...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of 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 steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...