Colliery deal hits a snag

HWANGE - High costs have crippled the Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL)'s deal with Belgium, it has been learnt.

The deal, worth more than US$750 000, was clinched in March. Owing to high freight charge the company has found it not viable to go ahead with exporting coal to Europe. HCCL managing director, Fred Moyo, said the deal had been suspended because the European client was not in a position to review its trade rates. HCCL had received an order to export 50 000 tonnes of coal fines on scheduled dates for 10 months but only managed to send a few liner trains via Chicualacuala into Maputo, Mozambique, where it was transported by sea to Europe.

“We did run a couple of trains to Mozambique, but with the fluctuation of diesel logistic companies we then had difficulties, and the client was not in a position to review trade rates so we suspended the operation. There are negotiations taking place between the parties, ourselves, the customer, National Railways of Zimbabwe and their Mozambique counterparts with regards to how we can export that coal to Belgium at affordable prices that the customer can get,” Moyo said.

HCCL recently held meetings with two prospective buyers from India with a view of striking a deal to export coke into the Asian market. The company also had talks with representatives of unnamed nickel mine, Botswana Breweries, Bamangwato Consolidated Mines and Botswana Meat which have all indicated their interest in importing various types of coal from the country.

HCCL already supplies coal to Mafambesi Sugar Refineries in Mozambique. It has over the years been exporting coal and its products to countries such as South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Post published in: Economy

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