South African rail problems and computer bugs fail coal demand

By bne IntelliNews December 21, 2009
South African railproblems and computer bugs at Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) are failing toallow coal exporters to meet demand from Indiaand Chinain Q1, 2010. Reuters reported that a new computer system is costing billions ofrand in demurrage. Producers and transporters say prices have been forced up,logistical bottlenecks have increased mine stockpiles, and terminal stocks areso low exporters are buying from each other to fill waiting ships. RBCTinstalled new equipment and a new computer system as part of its Phase Vexpansion to raise export capacity to 91mn tons/year, but has had to revert toits old system while it fixes bugs in the new one and has delayed Phase V ayear, to Q1.

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