Jul 27, 2012
Rail utility hopeful of meeting 77Mt coal target despite slow startBack
Johannesburg|Natal|Anglo Inyosi Coal|BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa|Mitsui|Swaziland|Becsa’s 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 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 last week 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 an 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 breached the 500-hour-a-month operational level, which meant that the facility was closing in on its nameplate level 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 loco- motives 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, TRF 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 market demand strategy.
Initiatives to unlock domestic and export coal resources from the Waterberg region of 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 through a Swaziland link.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
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...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...