South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) has completed a ZAR1.34B (US$98M) machinery upgrade including new stacker reclaimers and shiploaders.

The move is expected to boost productivity and improve vessel turnaround times, and RBCT reiterated its expectation of achieving a record throughput in excess of 77 Mt this year.

Africa’s largest coal export terminal began the project to replace its ageing equipment in order to maintain its 91 Mtpa capacity, but the company said that the project has also meant an increase in its efficiency levels.

“We are already enjoying several operational efficiencies of the new machines,” said Alan Waller, CEO of RBCT.

Two new rail-mounted stacker reclaimers have been installed, each with a capacity to handle 6,000 tph, compared to 4,500 tph for the predecessor machines. The reclaimer coal-carrying arm is also extended from 40m to 60m, meaning less bulldozing is required in the yard.


The new shiploader will have 10,000 tph capacity, compared with 8,000 tph for the previous equipment.


The project also reconfigured the terminal’s five existing electrical substations and added a new substation.