Coal transport accidents in South Africa

From Global Energy Monitor
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Coal transport accidents in South Africa include the:

  • a Greek-owned but Panamanian registered ship, MV Smart, was carrying an estimated 140,000 tonnes of South African coal when it was grounded on a sandbank after loading at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.[1] The MV Smart was carrying a shipment of coal to the Fangcheng port in China. Platts reported that the ship suffered engine failure and was pushed by 10 metres seas onto the sandbank. After the ship became stranded three tug boats attempted to pull the vessel off but later in the day it buckled and then broke in two. The crew of 23 were airlifted off the ship. Platts reported that "the ship had been chartered by Chinese trader Minmetals and was carrying 5,500 kcal/kg NAR South African thermal coal bought from a Swiss trading house."[2] It was reported that the ship lost steering four minutes after the harbour pilot handed control of the ship over to its captain. While the tugboats returned to assist the ship, they weren't strong enough to keep the ship from grounding, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority.[3]
The MV Smart was reported to be carrying up to 2,000 tonnes of oil. The Department of Environmental Affairs said that the priority of an emergency response team was protect the Mhlathuze Sanctuary south of the wreck."The sanctuary is a breeding and nursing area for important fish species, and it provides a home to over 20000 birds," said Zolile Nqayi, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Affairs.[3]

Articles and resources


  1. Lauren Rawlins, "Fears for habitat as ship left stranded", IOL News, August 20 2013.
  2. "Capesize coal shipment set for China sinks off South Africa's Richards Bay", Platts, August 20, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Schalk Mouton, "Race to avert oil spill", BDLive, August 22, 2013.

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