MANGANESE exports from South Africa are set to receive a boost after Transnet Freight Train completed a debottlenecking project which will add four additional rail slots a week on the Northern Cape to East London route.
The state-owned rail and ports company said it had completed a new loop in the Northern Cape – the Mamathwane Crossing Loop.
TFR currently moves most of its export manganese using 104 wagon trains to Gqeberha and 125 wagon trains to Saldanha. As the routes converge on the Sishen to Hotazel line, a bottleneck for export manganese capacity growth is created.
“The completion of the Mamathwane project will decongest this section and allow for an additional four (4) rail slots per week, thus enabling further volumes,” said TFR. “The East London rail solution will originate from the mines and will run all the way to the Port of East London,” it added.
An estimated 40,540 trucks a year will be removed from the road as a result of the project.
“This solution was further made possible through the return to service of some of the long-standing locomotives which is currently one of the key strategic projects for TFR in its effort to transform its operations,” said TFR.