South Africa’s Transnet Restores Operations at Richards Bay After Fire

South Africa’s Transnet Restores Operations at Richards Bay After Fire (News Central TV)

South African monopoly port operator Transnet said on Monday that it had restored most of its operations since a fire broke out at its Richards Bay terminal last week. It however stated that it still needed to ensure affected areas were safe before resuming others.

Richards Bay Bulk Terminal, Africa’s largest coal export facility, is one of seven commercial ports that Transnet operates. It declared force majeure last week on its operations after a second fire broke out in less than seven days.

Stating that five of seven conveyor belts were back in operation,  “Transnet continues to work with all impacted stakeholders to minimise disruptions and ensure that repairs are concluded as quickly as possible.”  

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Transnet has not said to what extent exports of commodities, such as coal, steel and other minerals, have been impacted.

“With the remainder of the conveyor belts, the port has deployed manual handling to ensure continuity of operations,” the statement said.

The ports and freight-rail company said it had deployed manual handling to make up for the remaining belts, in a bid to ensure continuity of operations.

At Maydon Wharf Precinct, which has two conveyor belts for handling grain and wood chip, the fire occurred on the grain conveyor belt after it had completed loading a grain vessel.

A cyberattack in July disrupted most of its operations, prompting Transnet to declare a force majeure. The IT failure affected a number of key ports and caused supply chain disruptions in the country.

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