South African rail capacity cuts coal exports by 9 million tonnes
VANDALISM and sabotage of rail infrastructure and rampant cable theft have resulted in one of the worst export performances, according state-owned Transnet, South Africa's railway operator.
"Locomotive unavailability, coal line shutdown disruptions, derailments, and other operational challenges combined with 'lost' shipments?? said Transnet, reported Bloomberg.
Transnet's rail line is the main route from South Africa's mines to Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the largest facility of its kind on the continent, which exported 70.2 million tonnes of the fuel in 2020.
The company is investigating recent derailments and plans to reduce dependency on outside contractors that may benefit from the accidents. India, Pakistan and China are the biggest export destinations for the coal.
South Africa's coal exports slowed in the first half of the year due to security problems and a lack of rail capacity.
As thermal coal prices surpassed US$100 a tonne during the period, about nine million tonnes of producers' shipments were missing in the widespread public disorders.