One of three conveyor belts damaged in the October 2021 fires has returned to full operation at the Richards Bay Bulk Terminal, prioritising the handling of coal exports. This will see more than 400 coal trucks off the road as the 2.2 kilometre – long conveyor belt has an output of more than three million tons per year.
The Port of Richards Bay is critical to South Africa as it transports more than 90% of coal mined in South Africa.
Managing executive at the Richards Bay Terminals Thulasizwe Dlamini said in a statement on Tuesday that the rebuild program had been rolling out over the past two years.
“I am very grateful that we did not default on the undertaking we made. The team has been steadfast in getting this infrastructure back on track. It is exciting that we are going to be able to service our customers efficiently again” he said. Dlamini added that the terminal was working on returning the remaining two conveyor belts to operations in July this year.
Customers and port authorities have since commended the development, while the terminal was focused on moving an increased volume of cargo.
The Richards Bay Bulk Terminal is located in one of South Africa’s major bulk ports and handles more than 20 varying commodities ranging from magnetite, chrome and coal to sulphur, alumina and vermiculite.
The Richards Bay Terminals form part of a network of 16 sea-cargo and three inland terminals managed by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) nationally. TPT is a division of Transnet and South Africa’s (SA) leading terminal operator responsible for loading and offloading cargo aboard vessels calling the seven South African ports.