26 April 2007
A US$4-million expansion of the ferrochrome terminal at the port of Maputo in Mozambique is currently under way, aimed at increasing exports of the alloy from South Africa.
According to the Maputo Port Development Company’s commercial director, Dick Moore, construction on the terminal will be completed in June and the facility will be operational by the end of July.
“The bigger ferrochrome terminal will boost ferrochrome exports to more than one million tons per annum over the next few years, so we are very pleased,” Moore said.
Ferrochrome, a corrosion-resistant alloy of chrome and iron, is used to produce stainless steel. In South Africa it is mined in Middelburg in Mpumalanga province and Rustenburg in North West province.
“The original terminal at Maputo Port was commissioned less than two years ago and was already operating close to capacity,” said Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) chief executive Brenda Horne.
“The terminal handled more than 500 000 tons in 2006, which was mainly shipped to the steel mills of Northern Europe, Japan and China,” Horne added.
The MCLI aims to improve infrastructure such as the road and rail link between South Africa and Mozambique as part of the Maputo Development Corridor initiative. It has already resulted in the construction of the R2-billion N4 toll road between Johannesburg and Maputo, as well as linked rail and communication upgrades.
The Maputo Port Development Company has a 25-year concession from the Mozambican government to operate Port Maputo.
South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation has been the primary catalyst for SA investment in Mozambique.
In March, the IDC has approved funding for 10 projects across Mozambique, and is currently investigating six additional projects in the country. The projects range from mining and mineral beneficiation to agriculture, tourism, chemicals, forestry, transport and energy.