Tanzania starts exporting coal to European markets

Tanzania has abundant coal deposits. Mchuchuma alone is estimated to have 540 million tonnes of reserves, enough to produce 600MW for over 100 years. PHOTO|FILE

Summary

  • Coal is primarily used as fuel to generate electric power. It is a key ingredient in steelmaking and a key energy in cement production among other uses.

Mtwara. Tanzania’s coal has penetrated the European market, thanks to a contract between Ruvuma Coal Limited and Hong Kong-based Kenexon Company.

Through the one-year contract, the companies yesterday transported 60,000 tonnes of coal to the Netherlands.

Coal is primarily used as fuel to generate electric power. It is a key ingredient in steelmaking and a key energy in cement production among other uses.

The consignment was transported on ship known as Southern Cross which docked at the Mtwara Port yesterday.

Speaking during an event to load the coal onto the ship yesterday, the Mtwara branch manager for Ruvuma Coal Limited, Mr Saidi Gadafi, said yesterday consignment brings the total volume of coal transported outside the country to 300,000 tonnes since the two firms inked the deal several months ago.

“The product has been transported to China and India,” he said.

He said the development was testament to the fact that a number of industries in the world were now aware of the availability of coal in Tanzania and that they were in discussions with various companies for new business prospects.

“We are grateful to the government for improving the port infrastructure. In the past, we could transport only once in every three months but with facility improvement at the port, we have been receiving two to three ships for the purpose every month,” said Mr Gadafi.

The company says it now sells coal to India, China, Senegal, Egypt and now Europe.

“We are now exporting to Ghana and Ivory Coast,” he said.

The acting director of marketing and public relations at Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Mr Nicodemus Mushi, said the Southern Cross ship has recorded the highest volume of coal to be transported at once from Mtwara Port.

“This 59,960 tonnes is the highest single volume to be transported from Mtwara Port. We have now reached more international market. This coal is now heading to Amsterdam, Netherlands” said Mr Mushi.

He said the coming of the ships was clear testimony of the fact that that amount that the government has invested in improving the Mtwara Port was finally paying off and that the sea gateway was not only meant for cashew nuts but also for a number of other products.