From Global Energy Monitor

Transnet is a South African government owned transport business which owns and operates ports, pipelines and rail freight operations.

Coal rail freight

In October 2011 Transnet said that it plans to add an additional 14 million tonnes of capacity on the coal line by moving non-coal cargo to a new line via Swaziland. The Swazi link, expected within six years, will cost around 12.3 billion rand. Some 7.3 billion of that will be financed by Swazi Rail. In January 2012, Transnet said the first Swazi train will run in three years, and will create additional capacity of 15 million metric tons annually to Richards Bay Coal Terminal, eventually to 95 million tons a year. The 140-kilometer (87-mile) railway will run between the coal-producing province of Mpumalanga and the port to the east, cutting through landlocked Swaziland. In the meantime, Transnet said it will increase coal deliveries to the terminal by 17 percent to 74 million tons in 2012.[1]

In its annual report for the year to the end of March 2012 Transnet Rail Freight reported that coal export volumes had increased from 62.2 million tonnes to 67.7 million tonnes due to "improved operational efficiencies".[2]

It also stated that plans "are in place" to expand the capacity of the railway line between Mpumalanga and the Port of Richards Bay from 81 million tonnes to 97.5 million tonnes. "Together with sustaining capital, investment is estimated to be R31,6 billion over the next seven years ... A total of R2,2 billion was invested in the coal line expansion and the acquisition of Class 19E locomotives during the year," the company reported.[2]

Transet also said a planned rail link to the Waterberg coal fields would be completed within the same six-year period and would carry over 20 million tonnes of coal per year. Waterberg is expected to become the country's next coal hub and supply domestic power plants and exports. Transnet signed a 6 billion rand loan facility with the African Development Bank.[3] In its 2012 annual report the company stated that "the Waterberg region in Limpopo contains approximately 40% of South Africa’s remaining coal reserves and development of this area will enable Transnet to capitalise on the export and domestic consumption opportunities that the region presents. R5,1 billion is due to be invested in this project over the next seven years."[2]

Coal export ambitions

Contact details

Carlton Centre
150 Commissioner Street

Postal Address
P.O. Box 72501
South Africa
Tel: +27 11 308 3000
Fax: +27 11 308 2638
Email: enquiries AT

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