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Manganese to move through EL port due to rail solution

Home Transport & Logistics Exports & Imports Manganese to move through EL port due to rail solution

THE construction of the Mamathwane Crossing Loop in the Northern Cape eliminates the bottleneck for the growth of Transnet Freight Rail’s manganese export growth.

According to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), the completion of the loop will unlock several key projects, some of which are still to be announced.

A key benefit from the completion of this key project is the increase in export manganese capacity through the enablement of a new East London solution. TFR currently moves most of its export manganese by operating 104 wagon trains to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and 125 wagon trains to Saldanha, both of which conjoin on the Sishen to Hotazel line.

East London Port

In maximising existing capacity, the East London Multi-purpose Terminal is in the process of setting up a back-of-port facility that will see the commencement of this handling of manganese exports in the 2023/2024 financial year, according to the Terminal manager at the East London Terminals, Naliya Stamper.

“The terminal is increasing its warehousing and storage capacity to 90 000 metric tons. When the operation resumes, vessels calling monthly are expected to load between 30 000 to 40 000 metric tons of export manganese. Careful configuration has been considered to ensure that the manganese operation does not impact the grain operation and any other terminal operations,” says Stamper.

“The handling of these commodities is in a bid to ensure full use of the terminal’s existing capacity to realise opportunities that respond to industry demand,” she said.

Increased rail volumes

TFR says that the completion of the Mamathwane project will decongest this section and allow for an additional four rail slots per week, thus enabling further volumes. The East London rail solution will originate from the mines in the Northern Cape and will run to the Port of East London.

The solution was further made possible through the return to service of some of the long-standing locomotives which is currently one of the key strategic projects for TFR in its effort to transform its operations.

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