Richards Bay Coal Terminal Losing $18 Million a Day From Outage

South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the world’s largest standalone facility for the fuel, said the power failure that started at the end of January is costing 200 million rand ($18 million) a day.

The earliest that power will be restored is from 6 a.m. tomorrow, Alan Waller, RBCT’s general manager of finance, said in a phone interview today. RBCT previously said it expected the local municipality to begin restoring power by Feb. 5 with operations returning to normal by Feb. 9.

“The disruption is catastrophic,” Waller said. “We’re losing about 200 million rand a day in lost exports and that’s not taking into account any of the other costs in the value chain.”

RBCT is targeting record exports in 2014, according to its Chief Executive Officer Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane, after South Africa’s state-owned rail company Transnet SOC Holdings Ltd. increased capacity to the terminal. In 2013, RBCT shipped 70.2 million metric tons compared with a capacity of 91 million tons.

RBCT may also face daily penalties estimated at $20,000 per ship, said Waller, adding that there are five vessels waiting at the terminal’s berths and another 23 anchored off the port.

The biggest shareholders in the facility, located on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal province, include Glencore Xstrata Plc, Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd.

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