Image: Grindrod's Matola Terminal, Maputo (Grindrod)
The global coal demand, which peaked in mid-2021, is still reaching price record highs due to the major surge in coal prices worldwide. In response to the increasing demand for export capacity, the Maputo and Matola Drybulk Terminals (GML and TCM), the sub-concessions of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), are considering the expansion of their footprint. We are pleased GML’s throughput will be increased from the current capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum to 4.5 million tonnes per annum in the first half of this year, an increase of 200%. TCM’s current capacity of 7.3 million tonnes per annum will be increased to 12 million tonnes per annum in the short to medium term, and to 20 million tonnes per annum in the long run. This enhances South Africa's miner exports on a year-on-year performance basis, increase volume exports by existing port users and promote port access to new users.
In anticipation of growing demand for exports, TCM commenced with infrastructure, plant and equipment rehabilitation and replacement in 2009 which included deepening of the berth and quay offset. An amount of US$128.7 million has been invested to date.
The expansion of GML’s capacity is underway and the feasibility study for the planned expansion project at TCM has already been completed. Critical to both projects is unlocking road and rail bottlenecks along the corridor.
"As a team, we are focused on operational excellence and never compromise on safety. Our operations team works closely with the customer, MPDC marine services, and the vessel agent to ensure that every operation runs smoothly and efficiently. This has led to breaking new cargo handling records – 1 million tonnes in September 2021. The investment in channel dredging, paired with the rehabilitation and deepening of TCM's berth to -15,4 metres, has equipped the port to accommodate bigger vessels and become more competitive in the region", explained Xolani Mbambo, CEO of Grindrod Freight Services.
The expansion plans are included in the Port of Maputo's new masterplan, which will be presented to the public in early May 2022 during the Maputo Port's Conference.