JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail moved a record number of manganese shipments in May due to new trains and improved market conditions, the company said on Wednesday.
Transnet Freight moved 1.053 million tons in May from a previous high of 976,671 tons in October 2015.
“The record-breaking performance is due to a significant improvement in efficiencies across the channels which were driven by the introduction of new locomotives among other things,” Transnet Freight Rail said in a statement.
State-owned Transnet plans to spend up to 390 billion rand ($26 billion) over ten years to expand and revamp railways, pipelines and ports in Africa’s most advanced economy, which is struggling with flagging growth.
More than 75 percent of the new locomotive railway fleet is used to move manganese, used as a component to keep steel from rusting. The company also moves coal, chrome and iron ore.
The company also said there was “an upturn in market conditions”. A company spokesman said the company able to move more volumes from mining companies.
($1 = 14.9650 rand)
(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala, editing by Louise Heavens)