Richards Bay Coal Terminal


The port of Richards Bay (English port Richards Bay) is the largest export port in South Africa and is situated in Richards Bay on the east coast of the country in the province of KwaZulu -Natal. He is from the state National Port Authority ( Transnet National Ports Authority ( TNPA ) ) operated.

Location and General Description

The port facilities are located in a lagoon, which is surrounded by a flat coastal plain. The terrain rises slightly to the west. In the dunes of the harbor environment partially natural forest (KwaZulu- Natal Dune Forest ) is present, while also benefiting the suburb of Sea En lake. The climate is subtropical.

The ship's entrance to the port has a width of 300 meters, the seaward extends to 400 meters. With a water depth of 22 meters at the pier Richards Bay is one of the deep-water ports. In the landing at the coal terminal a dredging depth of 19 meters and exists in most other piers 14.5 meters. The tidal range of the tide is 2.47 meters. The nearest ports are on the one hand 160 km south-west of Durban and on the other hand 465 km north of Maputo (Mozambique ). The Port Control is in operation 24 hours a day. A special berth for cruise liners does not exist. Provisionally, a jetty will be provided in a special zone.


As the Commissioner Henry Cloete 1843 explored the mouth area of ​​the Mhlatuze River, in the aftermath the view that little or no potential for the establishment of a port is available here developed. The lagoon was from this perspective, long time no economic consideration.

When at the beginning of the 1950s, the industrialization of South Africa resumed driving, an increasing demand for new and expanded port facilities became apparent. The Chamber of Mines, the very influential association of the mining industry in South Africa, highlighted the need to develop the transport and port system in South Africa. That clinched it for planning and transport infrastructure across the country.

The Permanent Committee for the Location of Industry recommended in their report of 1968 the development and expansion of new industrial centers in conjunction with native reserves in order to meet the demand for cheap labor in the labor-intensive industry better. Among the intended locations included the Empangeni / Richards Bay region.

In the South African Parliament in 1968 plans were discussed and approved, which concerned the construction of transport infrastructure in terms of Richards Bay. It should be built a railway line between Empangeni and the bay. The plans also included the establishment of a remote road to Vryheid to verkehrlich help to bind the less developed regions. The then Minister for Economic Affairs reported in May 1968 on the current plans for the construction of the port. A planning group consisting of employees of the Permanent Committee, the Industrial Development Corporation and the provincial administration dealt with the preparations for an industrial area in Richards Bay. For this, the surface of the existing African Reserve No. was. 6 needs and to build two new Townshipsiedlungen for reserve residents and provided further to industrial work of interested newcomers. During this time, an aluminum smelter was already in the construction phase.

With the Proclamation 82 of 20 March 1970, the government lifted the reserve No. 6. Its area was 4,856 hectares. The residents were offered resettlement to a 36 354 -hectare area in the far north of the province, on the Pongola River just off the reserve No. 14 and the Ndumu Game Reserve. This included 647 African families of Mandlazini tribe, consisting of 5,579 people, but among which there was little interest in a distant resettlement or a future dwelling in the township. From the Bantu Affairs Commission was the rationale for this approach, according to which the area of the reserve would be needed for the construction of a new township to support the new Border -Industry area of Richards Bay.

The aluminum smelter ALUSAF started operation in 1972. In the same year the parliamentary consultation process for the project of a commercial port began under the name of Richards Bay Lagoon. The Transvaal Coal Owners Association concluded in 1972 with Japanese steel producers from a ten -year contract for the supply of 27 million tons of coal per year. This agreement promoted the rapid expansion of relevant transportation capacity. Before the mid-1970s, the construction of the port of Richards Bay on the east coast of South Africa began. Was favored for its creation by the natural lagoon in the mouth region of a river, where they significantly intervened in an existing rich biosphere.

In 1974, reported the Minister for Transport that about 184 million rand had been invested in the construction of a new railway coal transport route for three large sections already. In the smelter ALUSAF the extension work entered into for the maximum configuration. Triomf Fertilizer Investments began the construction of a factory for the production of phosphoric acid, which was scheduled for October production start in 1976 with an annual volume of 400,000 tons. The Industrial Development Corporation informed planning 1974, after which the construction of titanium processing plants would be considered.

On April 1 of the year 1976, the official opening of the port. At this time consisted in the coal an annual handling capacity of 12 million tons per year. The bulk terminal represents the historical center of the port development and achieved in the first year a turnover of goods amount of 100,000 tons.

As a result of the declining state of preservation of the national road R33 between Mpumalanga and the port of cargo shares lost to other ports. Increasing freight volumes of manganese ore and coal come in this way to be shipped to Maputo and fruit to the port of Cape Town.

Port facilities

For the handling of cargo a terminal for bulk (Dry Bulk Terminal ), a multi-purpose terminal (Multi Purpose Terminal) and operated by a consortium of coal terminal, the Richards Bay Coal Terminal ( RBCT ) are in Richards Bay port available. From other owners a terminal for liquid bulk and timber terminal operated. There is a small ship repair facility in the Small Craft port.

Multipurpose Terminal

The multi-purpose terminal (Multipurpose Terminal - MPT) is in the range of the deepwater port of Richards Bay and is divided into two areas, bulk metal and the Combi terminals. Here bulk and containerized cargo can be handled. The MPT has six berths and an annual loading capacity of 5.6 million tons.

There are on the MPT complex warehouses, whose total area amounted to 10,000 m2, which can be supplemented by a further 8,000 m2 with Planning. Furthermore, 4,500 m2 available in simple shed. The existing open storage area of 330,000 m2, of which 75,000 m2 for steel products, and a log - terminal of 55,000 m2.

Bulk terminal

The bulk terminal (Dry Bulk Terminal - DPT ) has a unique delivery system that enables the loading of several commodities at the same time and eliminates cross-contamination. This reduces or eliminates a potential cleaning costs of the goods. The maximum size of each bulk material components is 65 millimeters. The turned-up here bulk types are varied. Specifically, these are: andalusite, magnetite, pig iron, rutile, zircon, titanium slag, vanadium slag, manganese concentrates, chrome concentrates, vermiculite, phosphate rocks, alumina, coke, anthracite coal, blast furnace coal, petroleum coke, rock salt, sulfur and wood chips.

Coal terminal

The coal terminal (Richards Bay Coal Terminal - RBCT ) is one of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal Proprietary Ltd.. powered loading facility to export delivered on the Eisenbahnweg coal from the mines in Mpumalanga by sea can. The owners group consists of a consortium of 10 companies (2013 ), belong to the large coal mining companies. The annual handling volume has been increased by multi- fold expansion of the plant and it currently (2013 ) a maximum capacity of 91 million tons per year. The quay of the terminal has a length of 2,200 meters and has 6 berths with a total of four loading facilities. The two largest ship loading systems can promote every 10,000 or 11,000 tons per hour.

About 80 percent of South Africa's coal production comes from mines in Mpumalanga. The export from this region extends over the harbor Richards Bay.

Tank Terminal

The tank terminal (Richards Bay Bunker Terminal) of Joint Bunker Services maintains marine diesel oil and marine fuel oil ready for shipment.


In Flüssigmassengutterminal ( Bulk Liquids Terminal), various liquid chemicals. This is mainly to propene, butadiene, ammonia, hexane, octane, acetone and industrial alcohol. The companies operating here are Richards Bay Bulk Storage ( Pty.) Ltd.. and Iceland View Storage Ltd..

Phosphoric acid terminal

Sasol Agri operates a terminal ( Agri Terminal) for the loading of phosphoric acid. It is available in four tanks available and is pumped by pipeline to the ships.

The closest

In national road network of the port area is connected via several routes:

  • The National Route 2 (N2 ), one of the coast of KwaZulu -Natal along leading national road, about the all important centers in the country can be reached.
  • The John Ross Highway (R34 ), a provincial road, which leads coming from Empangeni to Richards Bay to the port area and the adjacent industrial areas.
  • Four other regional roads lead from the environment closer to the waterfront.

The airport, Richards Bay Airport, not part of the port area, is managed by the parastatal Airports Company South Africa and guarantees flights to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport.