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RBCT Coal Exports in 2019 Dips 2% YoY

Coal News - Published on Fri, 24 Jan 2020

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Coal exports through South African Richards Bay Coal Terminal dropped by 1.9% YoY to 72.1 million tonne in 2019 from 73.5 million tonne in 2018. Cape vessels handled during 2019 dropped to 351 from 372 in 2018 while Panamax ships handled rose to 296 from 268. In addition there was a 2.1% decrease in the average cargo size handled by the terminal to 81,436 tonnes as compared to 83,202 tonnes in 2018, while parcel size dropped 5.6% to 50,562 tonnes from 53,587 tonnes but the number of parcels loaded per vessel increased 3.8% to 1.6 from 1.55. RBCT CEO Mr Alan Waller said “This all added up to challenging operating conditions” for a terminal designed to load large bulk carriers while adverse weather conditions also played a role. RBCT lost the equivalent of 39 days due to weather patterns compared with 36 days lost in 2018.”

Mr Waller said the export target for 2020 is 77 million tonnes, the same as for 2019, but he pointed out the key swing factor would be what happens to coal export volumes from the Optimum and Koornfontein collieries which have been shut down for the past two years. He said “Those two collieries have annual entitlement totalling 8mt tons. RBCT user rules allow other RBCT members to utilise that entitlement for their own exports if Optimum and Koornfontein cannot utilise it themselves but we do not know just how much of that amount will be used by the other members.”

The RBCT has the installed capacity to export a total of 91 million tonne annually but it has never gotten anywhere near that level since it became available in 2010 with the completion of the Phase 5 expansion. The record export volume set by the terminal was 76.5 million tonne in 2017.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 24 Jan 2020
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