Grindrod Limited, the JSE listed integrated logistics services supplier and the Vitol Group, one of the world’s largest energy trading businesses, have entered into an agreement effective 1 January 2012. Vitol will acquire from Grindrod a 35% interest in the company which owns the Maputo coal terminal concession for a consideration of US$67.7 million. In addition Vitol and Grindrod will enter into a partnership to combine their respective sub Saharan coal trading businesses.
Grindrod was awarded the concession to operate this terminal known as Terminal de Carvão da Matola (TCM) until 2033 with an option to extend the concession for a further 10 years. To date US$70 million has been invested in the refurbishment and building of infrastructure expanding the capacity of the terminal to 6 million tons per annum. TCM is ideally situated for the export of coal to international markets. The dredging of the port channel was completed in 2011 allowing larger vessels up to Panamax size to enter the port contributing to the port’s competitiveness. The Mozambique government, CFM and Transnet have aligned to promote the delivery of cargo by rail to the port which has seen tremendous improvement in rail delivery.
Demand for capacity at TCM continues to grow which led to the feasibility study for an expansion of capacity by 20 million tons (phase 4) requiring an investment of approximately US$ 800 million. The expansion project involves excavation and land reclamation; resulting in a footprint of 120 hectares; the construction of two additional berths, a stockyard and railway infrastructure.
Grindrod, through the introduction of Vitol, has established a relationship with one of the world’s largest trading businesses. Alan Olivier, CEO Grindrod Limited said: “Vitol is the ideal partner to assist us in the coal terminal in Maputo. They have significant experience in building terminals and they are a reputable global trading business. Their strong balance sheet will further assist in the opportunity to offer junior miners capacity in the terminal. I believe our shareholders and customers will benefit, as through this transaction we have increased our capability to deliver on this strategic expansion project and we look forward to further developing our relationship with Vitol.”
“We are delighted to have concluded this deal with Grindrod” said Bob Finch, Head of Coal trading at Vitol. “Both parts of this transaction create opportunities to underpin a significant expansion of our coal trading business, which is an increasingly important part of Vitol’s global trading activity”.
Dredging Today Staff, January 18, 2012; Image: gov.za