Grindrod, a Johannesburg-based logistics company, announced on Monday that it plans to triple capacity at its drybulk port terminals in Mozambique to meet the rising demand for coal exports from neighbouring South Africa.

By the end of June, capacity at the company’s wholly-owned terminal at the country’s largest port, Maputo, will have increased to 4.5 million tons per year from 1.5 million tons. Grindrod said in a statement on its website that production at its 65 per cent-owned Matola coal terminal will increase to 12 million tons per year from the current 7.3 million tons “in the short to medium term.”

The company’s decision comes as demand for coal has surged with economies bouncing back from Covid-19, and South African mining companies are searching for alternatives to export their goods due to snarl-ups at the nation’s ports and railways, potentially costing billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Still, Mozambique is not without its challenges. Trucks crossing the South African border to Mozambique at times can wait up to three days in queues of more than 15 kilometres long.

Advertisement

“Critical to both projects is unlocking road and rail bottlenecks along the corridor,” Grindrod said.