The recent dredging to the Port of Maputo access channel, early this year, from -11 to 14.3 meters served as an enabler to other infrastructure projects, some already taking place at the Port. Terminal de Carvão da Matola (TCM), an open storage dry bulk handling terminal customised to handle coal and magnetite, is the port’s first terminal to take full advantage of the dredging initiative with the completion of the Berth Deepening and Quay Offset project.
The works, which were completed on 4 July 2017, included, the deepening of its existing berth pocket to -15.4 meters below Chart Datum to accommodate fully-laden Panamax vessels, refurbishment work and the installation of a new fender support structure and fender system extending the quay by an 8.5 meter offset. Furthermore, the larger TCM ship loader has been modified, with the boom extended to load at this offset. An engineering study is underway to evaluate the changes that need to be made to the second ship loader, where the modifications will then be implemented in the latter half of the year.
The installations and modifications were completed during a 19 calendar day operational shutdown of the existing quay. The berth was reopened on 5 July 2017 and the first Panamax vessel successfully loaded 83 403 tons and sailed on 8 July destined for China.
“Congratulations to the project team and contractors for completing the project as scheduled and we thank our customers for their support during the process”, said Bongiwe Ntuli, CEO Grindrod Freight Services.
Railing continued to TCM during the berth outage period so that export volumes can increase significantly from July onwards as the terminal stock levels will be near capacity.
TCM plans to run at 185ktpm – 200ktpm coal exports for the remainder of 2017 in addition to the 300ktpm – 350ktpm of magnetite.
During the period January to June, TCM, exported 750 000 tons of coal and 1 800 000 tons of magnetite. Said Ntuli: “The increased volumes are attributable to the demand for export capacity driven by the recovery in commodity prices, and the support from our rail partners Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and CFM. We look forward to continued partnerships ensuring a cost effective and efficient solution for South African miners.”