CAPE TOWN – The Transnet Port Terminal’s (TPT) Saldanha Iron Ore plant will shut down commencing on September 26 as part of its annual maintenance plan across mechanical, electrical and structural works.
Velile Dube, TPT’s general manager: Cape Channel said maintenance was a critical element of providing a quality service considering that this facility has already handled more than 27 757 million tons of cargo this financial year.
“We have a responsibility to not only optimize the assets we have, but to also ensure demand is always catered for through both planned maintenance projects as well as redeployment of equipment where necessary. By constantly addressing efficiency and productivity improvements through this kind of shut down, it will further support our goal of becoming a top 5 terminal operator in the next 5 years in line with TPT’s strategy to be recognized as a world-class logistics and freight solutions terminal operator,” explained Dube.
There will also be conveyor belt replacements on the stacker reclaimer’s as well as bucket wheel and transfer chute repairs. Some of the other areas that will undergo major maintenance work are Ship Loader 1 chute repairs with tiling and structural bolt replacements and repairs, dust plant filter replacements, annual fire suppression tests, which will be conducted, and scale testing and calibration.
“This shutdown is an annual standing agreement with our iron ore customers as well as all relevant parties in the logistics chain such as Transnet Freight Rail, TNPA, TPT and TGC. We ensure there is ongoing communication and engagement with key stakeholders regarding the shutdown at the Iron Ore facility across a variety of platforms,” added Dube.
Boasting the largest natural, deep-water port in South Africa, TPT’s Saldanha Terminal has an average draft of 17.5 across its combined 5 berths with an ability to accommodate Panamax and Cape-sized vessels. The terminal remains the largest iron ore export facility in Africa loading between 21 and 32 vessels per month. Saldanha is water-scarce and to ensure sufficient fresh water, TPT invested in a reverse osmosis plant that uses the existing seawater and sifts it of brine for use in dust control management at the terminal.