Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 August 2010 – Transport and logistics parastatal Transnet has revealed that studies are underway to determine the possibility of significantly expanding the capacity of its export coal line and to assess rail transport needs in the coalfields of Mpumalanga.
In its latest annual report, CEO Chris Wells said feasibility studies were underway to determine whether there was a sound business case to increase capacity beyond 81Mtpa.
The report added that currently Transnet planned to invest about R16 billion to expand the coal export line from 62Mtpa to 81Mtpa after five years. The capacity increase would require the upgrade of existing rolling stock, rail and yard expansions, electrical power upgrades and an additional 110 new locomotives.
This coal line project is part of the company’s R93.4billion capital investment programme, which seeks to upgrade railways, ports and the pipeline.
Wells said studies were underway to assess the transport needs from the coalfields in the Waterberg region in Mpumalanga, which was largely dependent on rail infrastructure upgrades to enable exports. “Preliminary demand requirements will require substantial investments in rail as well as in ports,” Wells added.
“The viability of this expansion is in the process of being assessed together with the most effective way to create the capacity and the link to existing rail infrastructure,” he said.