Supporting the MDS objective of being an important, fourth largest exporter of iron ore to the Eastern market, the Saldanha Terminal is Africa's largest iron ore exporter.
The largest natural, deep-water port in South Africa, the Saldanha Terminal has an average draft of 17.5 across its combined 5 berths with an ability to accommodate Panamax and Cape-sized vessels.The terminal remains the largest iron ore export facility in Africa loading between 16 to 20 vessels per month.
Situated 140 km northwest of Cape Town, the Saldanha Terminal started operating in 1976 exporting iron ore to the Middle East, establishing itself as a bulk facility. In 1979, the terminal diversified to handle break bulk commodities such as lead, steel, granite, pig iron, pellets – trading with Europe, China, West & East Africa.
Employing a combined staff complement of 449, the terminal's tonnage capacity is currently at 60 million tons per annum of bulk and 3 million tons per annum for break bulk. The terminal will increase its current bulk capacity to 82.5 million tons per annum in the next six years. Saldanha is water-scarce and to ensure sufficient fresh water, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) invested in a reverse osmosis plant that uses the existing seawater, sifts it of brine and salt for use in dust control management at the terminal.
Billions have been set aside for capacity creation investments and equipment purchases over the next six years.