The Coal Trader

Coal News for Mining & Investing Professionals

Coal Supply to Richards Bay Disrupted Following Train Service Suspension

Coal deliveries to the Richards Bay port in South Africa are expected to face significant delays following a suspension of train services on the northern rail corridor. The suspension, reported on the heels of theft incidents between Ermelo and RLRA, has halted all train operations on this critical transit route.

The issue arises less than a week after the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) experienced similar disruptions due to a train failure at Enqolothi on June 8. Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), the national rail operator, has released a statement declaring both sections of the coal line closed, with no immediate timeline for when services might resume.

The suspension will block the movement of empty wagons from Ermelo to the coal mines for loading. And consequently, coal deliveries to RBCT are anticipated to decrease this week, potentially impacting export capabilities.

Producers had been strategically withholding offers for July and August-loading cargoes in anticipation of reduced availability. And with annual maintenance scheduled from July 9-18, stockpiles at Richards Bay are likely to come under further strain, as levels are notably lower at less than 2 million tonnes before the start of maintenance, compared to 3.5 million tonnes at the same time last year.

Today’s rail line closure only exacerbates the situation, threatening to limit further deliveries to the port and potentially affecting global coal supply chains.

Source: Argus Media