Transnet Freight Rail improves its operations

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

TFR, which is a division of Transnet, said it was working to catch up volumes of coal export that were lost at the start of its financial year in efforts to meet the 2012/2013 budget of transporting up to 77 million tons to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal that is located in KwaZulu-Natal.

On a media tour at the Phola coal processing plant in Ogies on Tuesday, Transnet's commercial manager Burtie Maree said performance had improved and that plans were afoot to meet the internal target of 77 million tonnes of coal volumes.

Operations at Phola - which processes material for two mines located in Mpumalanga - are getting closer to reaching the target of operating at 567 hours a month. Currently, it is working at about 523 hours.

Maree further added that plans were in the pipeline to ramp up operations to transport 81 million tons by 2014.

Additionally, the last of the 110 locomotives should be in operation by the end of the year. Also, over 800 jumbo wagons will be added.

Phola is a joint venture that was established by BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa and Anglo Inyosi Coal.

At TFR's Ermelo Yard, a new operation centre is being built. The Yard operates on a 24-hour basis with 287 train drivers, of which 59 are female. TFR averages 16 trains in a midnight-to-midnight window.

Last week, Transnet reported a 20.9% increase in revenue to R45.9 billion for the year financial ended in March -- up from R38 billion in the previous period.

The growth, it said, was due to growth in volumes in the general freight, export coal, export iron ore and container volumes as well as an 18% improvement in productivity.

The logistics company has seen a 10.4% growth in rail volumes to an unprecedented 201 million tons. This is the highest tonnage moved in Transnet's history.