Aug 02, 2012
SA, Swaziland reaffirm commitment to R17bn cross-border rail linkBack
Construction|Engineering|Natal|Port|Africa|CoAL|Export|Mining|North-South Corridor|Ports|PROJECT|Public Enterprises|Rolling Stock|rolling-stock|System|Transnet|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|South Africa|Swaziland|Tanzania|Zambia|Zimbabwe|Port Of Richards Bay|Richards Bay Coal Terminal|Coal-mining Frontier|Logistics|Richards Bay|Infrastructure|Malusi Gigaba|Ntuthuko Dlamini|Limpopo
© Reuse this
The link would divert general freight from the existing heavy-haul corridor from Ermelo to the Port of Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, enabling Transnet to raise the yearly capacity of the coal line to over 90-million tons.
The privately owned Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) had a current nameplate capacity of 91-million tons, while the railway line had a theoretical capacity of less than 80-million tons.
During its 2011/12 financial year, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) moved 67.7-million tons along the line to the RBCT, an 8.8% increase on the 62.2-million tons achieved in the prior year. During the current financial year the utility aimed to haul between 75-million tons and 77-million tons along the export corridor.
Under a larger R200-billion rail investment plan – itself the largest portion of the State-owned company’s R300-billion, seven-year market demand strategy to 2019 – Transnet intended to increase the capacity of the coal channel to Richards Bay by 44% to 98-million tons.
It also planned to increase its general freight flows by 113%, from 80-million tons to 170-million tons, over the same period and bolster the volumes of domestic coal moved by rail by more than 300%, from around 7-million tons to nearly 30-million tons.
The proposed rail link through Swaziland, which would be the first large-scale rail investment in Southern Africa since the construction of the Richards Bay line in 1976, could create additional general-freight capacity of 15-million tons.
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, who signed the MoU on behalf of South Africa, described the project as a forerunner for Transnet’s expansion plans into the Waterberg coalfields, which is considered South Africa’s next coal-mining frontier.
TFR was planning a phased opening of the Waterberg, with the first phase likely to facilitate the movement of 23-million tons and later phases raising overall capacity to as much as 80-million tons. But the immediate priority was to reduce congestion at Ermelo by diverting general freight through Swaziland.
Swaziland Public Works and Transport Minister Ntuthuko Dlamini said the connection, or ‘western link’, would reduce the cost of transport for the region and facilitate the competitive “export of goods to overseas markets”.
The two countries again committed to support project fundraising efforts, with Transnet expected to contribute about R12-billion and Swazi Rail about R5-billion. Questions, however, have been raised about whether Swaziland, which has serious fiscal constraints, will be in a position to meet its financial commitments to the venture.
Gigaba said the first phase would be a single line with crossing loops spaced approximately 40 km apart. The greater project, which consisted of four distinct areas, spanning three countries, would cost approximately R17-billion, excluding rolling stock, contingencies, escalations and engineering, procurement and construction management costs.
He added that the project was core to delivering the so-called strategic integrated project 1, or Sip 1 project, unlocking the northern mineral belt of the Limpopo province. The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission was overseeing the Sip 1 initiative.
In addition, it was aligned to the larger North-South Corridor proposal to link the regional economies of Southern Africa and further complement the existing coal feeder system and other bulk mineral corridors.
“We will now have improved access to Eastern seaboard ports as well as improved access to the Southern African logistics network and markets. And what is really exciting is that we will now have access to the North-South Corridor, which includes countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.”
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 1 hour 8 minutes ago The mandate of local government has expanded greatly over the last ten years, and now includes more comprehensive operational responsibilities, as well as new ones, such as air quality management, says KPMG South Africa City Centre of Excellence associate director...
Updated 1 hour 16 minutes ago National Planning Commission (NPC) commissioner Tasneem Essop has highlighted a growing global movement against the continued use of coal as a source of energy, telling a panel discussion on Monday that South Africa’s coal-fired power station build programme and...
Updated 1 hour 38 minutes ago Eskom said on Tuesday there is a low risk of load shedding as the power system is currently relatively stable. "Some of the generating units that experienced technical faults yesterday (Monday) are now back on stream, helping to stabilise the power system," the power...
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...