Jul 27, 2012
Rail utility hopeful of meeting 77Mt coal target despite slow startBack
Engineering|Johannesburg|Natal|Africa|Anglo Inyosi Coal|BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa|CoAL|Energy|Mitsui|Resources|Transnet|Africa|Swaziland|Becsa’s Klipspruit Mine|Richards Bay Coal Terminal|Coal Processing Plant|Energy|Media Tour|Burtie Maree|Infrastructure|Kox Gomba|Rail|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 (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Updated 9 minutes ago Eni on Thursday laid out plans to sell assets, including a multi-billion dollar stake in oil service firm Saipem, and downsize its ailing refinery business to help fund its transformation into a leaner oil and gas outfit. In a strategy update, new Chief Executive...
Updated 29 minutes ago Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was considering the formation of a Women Construction Bank to focus on financing women-led cooperatives and construction companies involved in community infrastructure and human settlements projects. Delivering a keynote...
Updated 53 minutes ago The seasonally adjusted Kagiso Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has contracted for the fourth consecutive month, signalling the manufacturing sector’s continued subpar performance. The index “expectedly” fell from 46.6 in June to 45.9 index points in July,...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...