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Thungela Says Coal Terminal Workers' Strike Not Impacting Exports

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 2, 2023

Illustration - Credit; Ossewa/Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Illustration - Credit; Ossewa/Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Thungela Resources, South Africa's largest shipper of thermal coal burned in power stations, said its shipments of the fuel have not been impacted by a workers' strike at the country's key coal export hub. 

Workers at Richards Bay Coal Terminal, which is owned by coal exporters including Thungela, Exxaro Resources, Glencore, and Seriti, have been on a strike for the past three weeks.

 A two-week strike at South Africa's state-owned ports and rail company Transnet last year hit coal shipments, worsening losses for mining companies already failing to move sufficient volumes to ports due to locomotive shortages, cable theft, and vandalism of infrastructure. 

The coal terminal has continued to function during the workers' strike, though it is not known for how long the strike action will last, Thungela said. "At this time, we do not anticipate an impact on the vessels planned for Thungela in October," a Thungela spokesperson told Reuters. 

"Negotiations are continuing." 

The RBCT did not immediately respond to emailed questions. A spokesperson for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, whose members are on strike, couldn't be reached for comment. 

Coal shipments passing through the RBCT fell to about 50 million tons last year, the lowest level since 1993, due to the challenges of moving the fuel to ports.

(Reuters - Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Felix Njini and Christina Fincher)

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