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Transnet Seeks to Boosts Capacity on S. African Coal Line

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Transnet SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail operator, plans to boost rail capacity by 30 percent on its line to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

The company’s freight-rail unit will introduce a new 200 wagon train service to mines in the northeastern Mpumalanga province from the terminal on the nation’s east coast, increasing potential capacity to 1.85 million metric tons a week from 1.4 million tons, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The company will have the capability to transport 81 million tons of the fuel in the next financial year, Transnet said.

The terminal handles coal from mines including those owned by Anglo American Plc, Exxaro Resources Ltd. and BHP Billiton Plc. Improvements on the line will free train slots to allow more capacity to deal with demand for coal from Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the state-owned power company.

“This will give confidence and guarantee the delivery of 1.7 million tons per week,” Pragasen Pillay, project manager for Transnet Freight Rail. “This will enable the company to provide capacity to emerging miners.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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