South African transport utility Transnet is to install a new rail wagon tippler at the Port of Saldanha to boost the port’s iron ore handling capacity.
The two existing tipplers at the port that have been in use for 43 years and now handle ore from more than 2,000 wagons a day. The company said that it needed the new tippler to maintain current export capacity of 60 Mtpa while one of the two existing pieces of equipment is upgraded.
However, it did not comment on its long-stated plans to boost capacity at the port and on the Sishen railway that brings iron ore from mines operated by Kumba and other producers in the Northern Cape.
A bridge is being altered on the main road between the port of Saldanha and Langebaan, which lies on the other side of Saldanha Bay, to ease transport between the tippler’s location and the port.
Two other bridges, a conveyor belt to carry ore to waiting vessels, and a new section of rail track will also be developed as part of the overall project, which carries a price tag of ZAR3B (US$208M).
The project is part of the wider investment programme Transnet is undertaking. The company hopes that the length of heavy haul railway in the country will increase from 2,103 km at present to 4,438 km by 2034, including the development of the new manganese route to the Port of Ngqura, a new coal line from Botswana to South Africa, and the upgrading of the existing coal line between the Waterberg and Richards Bay. It also plans to double the capacity of the Overvaal Tunnel at Ermelo to reduce possible bottlenecks on the line to Richards Bay.