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South African Coal Miner Says Rail Snags Hobble Export Potential

  • Exxaro is able to ship less than half its capacity via RBCT
  • State-owned Transnet is struggling to deliver coal to port
Locomotive pulling freight wagons loaded with coal at a depot in Ermelo, South Africa.

Locomotive pulling freight wagons loaded with coal at a depot in Ermelo, South Africa.

Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

South Africa’s Exxaro Resources Ltd. can’t fully exploit booming global coal prices because rail disruptions are curbing more than half its potential exports of the fuel.

European coal prices surged to a record on Wednesday as Russia squeezes natural gas shipments following its invasion of Ukraine, boosting demand for the most polluting fossil fuel to help prevent blackouts. Exxaro and other South African coal exporters can’t fully benefit from that bonanza because the rail operations of state-owned Transnet SOC Ltd. have been hit by vandalism, sabotage and a shortage of locomotives.