The wagons, which were built for global mining giant Rio Tinto, will be carrying coal from the company’s coking coal mine at Moatize in Mozambique’s Tete province to the port of Beira.
The wagons and two containers with spare parts were railed from Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE)’s Wagon Business at Uitenhage – about 23km from Port Elizabeth – to the Port Elizabeth harbour where they were loaded on the MV Thorco Sunrise SW cargo vessel, which departs for Mozambique on Friday.
Gigaba said: “This is a particularly proud moment for us not only because of the significance of this achievement but because of the stringent standards we imposed on ourselves to satisfy our customer. The design, development, prototyping, industrialisation and starting production of this new wagon was accomplished in less than five months – an impressive lead time by any international standards.”
In line with Transnet’s commitment to the competitive supplier development programme, 85% of the raw materials and components used to manufacture the wagons were sourced locally or built in-house. Only the draw-gear and a few specialised components were imported.
Chief executive Brian Molefe said: “A total service solution is key to our customer satisfaction strategy. For this reason and to maximise the life-cycle of the wagons and to ensure a low total cost of ownership, we will be sending our experts to train and supervise local staff in the maintenance of these wagons in Mozambique,” Mr Molefe added.
The wagon business at Uitenhage specialises in manufacturing, conversion, heavy repair and upgrading of railway wagons for domestic fleets. It supplies wagons to the east coast intermodal operators of Tanzania and the west coast mines of Ghana.