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Kate LothianThe South African coal industry received a huge boost last month when President Jacob Zuma used his State of the Union address to back critical infrastructure projects in South Africa. He announced a much needed investment of R200bn ($26bn) to help upgrade the capacity of the state owned rail network, Transnet, which currently limits the amount of coal South Africa is able to export.

Transnet is crucial to the future of the South African coal industry. Today, the volume that the rail network can carry is below the export capacity of their largest coal terminal (Richards Bay). Transnet have started upgrading the network which has brought improvements but also some temporary fluctuations in capacity. This boost from President Zuma could not have come at a better time.

South Africa is the world’s fifth largest coal exporting country. Once complete, the upgrades in the rail network will mean that they can export the entire 91m ton capacity of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal. The industry is already starting to plan how they can expand their export capacity to at least 100 million tons.

Exxaro, South Africa’s second largest coal producer uses Triple Point’s QMASTOR supply chain management systems to manage the tonnage, quality and value of coal and minerals from their mines to the point of export, import or consumption.

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