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Saldanha multi-purpose terminal gets a shot in the arm with two new mobile ship loaders

THE commissioning of two new and independent mobile ship loaders at the Saldanha Multipurpose (MPT) Terminal follows their assembly by local engineering firm Westarcor. The equipment forms part of Transnet Port Terminals’ R2 billion infrastructure investment programme, which is intended to improve the efficiencies across all terminals in the current calendar year.

Currently, the terminal handles dry bulk and break-bulk commodities for both import and export. Cargo is loaded through a skip operation across four berths, through the use of front-end loaders, haulers and trailers. According to Terminal Manager Ettiene Albertus, “The acquisition of these two mobile ship loaders will change the existing operational model and significantly boost our terminal’s handling capability, specifically for bulk commodities, which comprise more than 80% of total MPT volumes”.

The handling of manganese at the terminal has contributed to an increase in volume as well as employment opportunities. The mobile ship loaders’ ability to load manganese at higher throughput rates will further improve customer service levels.

According to mining production and sales numbers published by Statistics South Africa in June 2019, mining accounted for over 45% of South Africa’s foreign exchange earnings with iron ore ranking as the third-highest earner at 13.80% or R 6 172 800 000. Manganese was ranked fifth, earning South Africa 10.67% or R4 771 700 000. The six main iron ore and manganese importing countries are China (54%), India (10%), Japan (5%), South Korea (4,8%), Norway (4,2%) and Malasia (3,5%).

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