Cleaner coal for the Cape

Cleaner coal for the Cape

It is estimated that South Africa produces an average of 224 million tonnes of marketable coal per year, with nearly three quarters of that being consumed domestically. According to the Department of Energy, around 77 percent of our country’s energy needs are directly derived from this fuel … like it or not, this energy source will be around for some time.

Pollution from this commodity doesn’t only come from burning it, but also from transporting it. Every time coal is shipped to a new location, coal dust pollution comes into play, not to mention the CO2 emitted during its shipment around the country (most coal is mined in Mpumalanga). However, all is not lost …

An innovative partnership between Wescoal Trading and Logistics Intelligence (LQ) has seen the completion of an environmentally friendly product storage and distribution centre in Bellville, Cape Town.

André Bojé, CEO of Wescoal, says he is immensely proud of being part of such an innovative solution to the coal supply chain process. “Wescoal and Wescoal Trading are very proud to be involved in this environmentally friendly distribution centre. It reduces our carbon footprint in the overall coal supply process, as the coal barely touches the ground once extracted from the coal mines in Mpumalanga.”

The transport of the commodity has also been moved from road to rail. The 12 m containers are railed from the Pretcon container terminals in Pretoria, and delivered to the site on trailers.

The first stage is to decant the 12 m container by tipping the contents into a large hopper that can accommodate 30 t. This is then fed by conveyor and loaded into back-door, shipper-owned containers, for delivery or storage.

This new transshipment centre, the first of its kind in Africa, results in 10 000 t of coal (or 350 vehicles) being taken off the road and transported by train per month.

Dirch Olsen from LQ says that the company is thrilled to be part of this process and looks forward to further developments in this regard. “A similar facility is already being planned for Port Elizabeth. This process is very clean and enables a seamless intermodal solution without adding costs to the supply chain. It fits in perfectly with what drives the LQ team – the concept of ‘smart moves’.”

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