Transnet’s Saldanha Iron Ore terminal goes on five-day maintenance shutdown

Transnet Port Terminals’ Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal. Supplied.

Transnet Port Terminals’ Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal. Supplied.

Published Apr 17, 2024


Transnet Port Terminals’ (TPT’s) Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal has embarked on a five-day shutdown for the maintenance and servicing of equipment on two tipplers.

The tipplers, which are critical machines in the terminal’s operations, facilitate the offloading of iron ore from train wagons onto conveyor belts, before it is loaded into vessels scheduled for export.

The Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal forms part of a network of 19 port terminals and is responsible for loading and offloading cargo aboard vessels.

There are two iron ore berths operational in the Port of Saldanha, with the current installed and theoretical capacity of 60 million tons per annum, respectively.

TPT acting Western Cape Region managing executive, Oscar Borchards, said this was preventative maintenance to avoid disruptions at the port.

“The mini shutdown is critical in our operations as it ensures that the terminal minimises unnecessary disruptions which may hinder smooth operations,” he said.

“This strategic approach enhances the reliability and performance of our equipment, and helps us meet the needs of our customers, which is a top priority.”

To maintain the tipplers' reliability and performance, critical maintenance tasks are planned during the mini-shutdown period, which started on Monday.

These include replacing the entry tippler drum drive’s concrete base and the dust plant filters on the tipplers.

“While ongoing maintenance is a regular feature of the terminal’s operations, the mini shutdown serves a distinct purpose by allowing the terminal to complete tasks that cannot be accomplished during the routine 12-hour maintenance windows, which occur weekly,” Borchards added.

Earlier this year, TPT decided to pause its proposed expansion of a stand-alone berthing facility aimed at increasing iron ore exports volumes by an additional 7 million tons at the Port of Saldanha.