Matola Coal Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor

Matola Coal Terminal is located at Maputo port at the south of the Mozambique Channel in the southwest Indian Ocean, in Maputo, Mozambique.

The coal terminal is owned by the Grindrod Group.

The main terminal (Terminal de Carvão da Matola -TCM) has an annual capacity of 7.5 million tonnes, handling magnetite and coal. Inside the main terminal is the Grindrod Mozambique Limitada (GML), which exports to Turkish markets, and has an annual capacity of 4 million tonnes, handling sized coal, iron oxide, and magnetite.

As of 2022, the group said that this will increase capacity from 7.3-million tonnes a year to 12-million.[1]


Matola Coal Terminal is located in Maputo, Mozambique, at the south of the Mozambique Channel in the southwest Indian Ocean.

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Matola Coal Terminal (Terminal de Carvão da Matola -TCM)

The Matola Coal Terminal, locally known by its Portuguese name Terminal de Carvão da Matola (TCM), is a dry bulk terminal operated by the South African freight and logistics company Grindrod. According to the Grindrod website (2015): "The terminal's most recent expansion phase (Phase 3.5) was completed in October 2013 and has increased the terminal’s annual export capacity from 6 to 7.5 million metric tons. ... Grindrod continues to work closely with CFM (Mozambique's national railway company) and South Africa's Transnet Freight Rail to create export capacity for both the established and junior coal mining communities of southern Africa."[2]

In 2020, TCM's revenue declined to US$ 46 million, representing a 3% decrease from the prior year. Coal handling revenue comprised 7% (2019: 19%) and magnetite handling revenue comprised 93% (2019: 81%). During the year, 203 tonnes of unsized coal were handled representing a 75% decrease from the prior year.[3]

Proposed expansion

According to the Grindrod website (2015): "Phase 4, which will increase the terminal capacity to more than 20 million tons, is currently in the advanced feasibility stage."[2]

In late 2014, Transnet SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned rail operator, agreed to a deal with Mozambique and Swaziland to boost co-operation and ease the delivery of coal exports through harbors to India and Brazil. Transnet announced that government-owned companies from the three countries would manage a joint-operating center in Maputo (Mozambique’s capital), whose mission would be to oversee the freight-rail route from Maputo through Swaziland to Richards Bay Coal Terminal, north of Durban in South Africa.[4]

As of mid-2017, dredging was underway to deepen the Matola terminal's coal berth to 15.4 meters to allow loading of Panamax vessels. Other concurrent improvements at the terminal included extension of the terminal's quay and ship loader.[5]

In 2018, the Port website still listed Phase 4. Phase 4 would require excavation and land reclamation, the construction of two new berths, a stockyard and railway infrastructure. The final terminal footprint would be in the region of 120 hectares (excluding any reclaimed areas). Grindrod also has a 48,000m² footprint in Maputo Main Port where sized coal destined for the Turkish market is exported.[6] However, in 2018, expansion plans for the Matola coal terminal remained uncertain, as Grindrod removed all mention of the Phase 4 expansion from its website and simply listed the terminal's export capacity as 7.5 million tonnes. And by 2021, the Port website no longer listed Phase 4.

The proposed expansion appears shelved or cancelled.

In 2022, the company revised plans for an expansion to 12 million tonnes[1]

Grindrod Mozambique Limitada (GML)

Grindrod also operates a facility in the Maputo main port known as Grindrod Mozambique Limitada (GML), where sized coal destined for the Turkish domestic market and Iron Oxide/Magnetite is exported. As of 2021, GML has a throughput capacity of 4 million tonnes per annum.[2]

According to a 2012 North-West University thesis, "GML has developed from very humble beginnings in 2009 to what is today a multi-million ton bulk export facility. GML was established to exclusively handle Sized Coal out of South Africa however through continued demand from other African countries; GML is now handling bulk coal exports from countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe." In addition, "[t]he coal is loaded by skip and either vessel or shore crane to minimise the degradation of the sized product."[7]

In 2020, GML suffered a 53.4% decline in tonnage to 344,305 tonnes.[3]

Project Details

  • Operator: Grindrod Group
  • Location: Maputo, Mozambique
  • Capacity: 7.5 million tonnes (coal, magnetite) (Main Terminal); 4 million tonnes via Grindrod Mozambique Limitada (GML)
  • Proposed Capacity 5 million tonnes (Main Terminal)
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Exports
  • Coal Source:
  • Cost of expansion:
  • Financing for expansion:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Grindrod plans to bulk up its strategic Matola terminal in Mozambique, Business Day, October 13, 2022
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Grindod Terminals" Grindrod website, accessed January 2015 and October 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Integrated Annual Report," Grindrod Limited, 2020
  4. "Transnet Agrees to Railway Deal With Mozambique, Swaziland" Bloomberg News, September 22, 2014
  5. "Grindrod : Record volumes for Terminal De Carvão da Matola, (TCM) and gearing up to load Panamax ships" 4 Traders, July 6, 2017
  6. "Coal Terminal" Porto de Maputo website, accessed January 2018
  7. Cornell Beytell, "Sustainable transport and intermodal solutions for urban growth and development : a case study of the Integrated Gauteng Transport Master Plan 2025," Chapter 4 (Empirical Resesarch), North-West University, 2012

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