The Saldanha Iron Ore Terminal (IOT) will begin its 28-day yearly maintenance shutdown on September 28.
During this period, the terminal will perform maintenance on its major equipment across mechanical, electrical and structural works.
The rail line between the Northern Cape and the Port of Saldanha in the Western Cape will form part of the shutdown in an integrated effort between Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet National Ports Authority and bulk customers.
During the shutdown period, there will be opportunities for single offloading.
Part of this year’s terminal maintenance includes the replacement of 9.5 km of the 26-km conveyor belt that is used to move the export iron-ore. Further work will be done on rail, including civil repairs on Tippler 2 and the ship loaders, and the maintenance of the terminal sub-station.
While the terminal conducts ongoing maintenance, the yearly shutdown ensures that the terminal carries out activities that cannot be executed during the weekly 12-hour maintenance windows and this improves the reliability of the equipment.
“As the terminal operator, we have a duty to deliver freight reliably and efficiently, and the shutdown affords us an opportunity to ensure that we optimise our equipment reliability and outputs, which is critical in delivering our mandate to customers. Moreover, this period is used to ensure that we preserve our assets as we strive to be a world-class logistics and freight solutions terminal operator, while also providing a safe and conducive environment for our employees,” TPT Western Cape managing executive Andiswa Dlanga said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Saldanha IOT is the biggest iron-ore export facility in Africa and South Africa’s only dedicated iron-ore terminal, which accounts for about 96% of all iron-ore exports from South Africa, with the remaining 4% channelled through the Saldanha multi-purpose terminal.
To date, more than 1.3-billion tons of iron-ore have been exported through Saldanha IOT.