Me­nar Hold­ing em­barks on a Richards Bay shop­ping spree

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Luy­olo Mken­tane

MIN­ING in­vest­ment com­pany Me­nar Hold­ing has set its sights on the ul­ti­mate prize – the Richards Bay coal ter­mi­nal (RBCT) – as it em­barks on a shop­ping spree for a 70 per­cent stake in Kan­gra Coal from Madrid-listed Gas Nat­u­ral Fenosa (GNF) for$28 mil­lion (R392.8m).

Kan­gra Coal, which owns as­sets in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, owns a 2.3 per­cent stake in RBCT, the world’s largest coal ter­mi­nal, and has a right to ex­port a to­tal of 1.6 mil­lion tons (m/t) of coal an­nu­ally.

In 2017, the RBCT loaded a record 76.47m/t of South African mined coal in the 12 months to the end of De­cem­ber.

Kan­gra Coal’s re­main­ing 30 per­cent stake is owned by Iz­im­biwa Coal In­vest­ments. If ap­proved, the ac­qui­si­tion would add to the grow­ing port­fo­lio of Me­nar Hold­ing, which owns An­thracite Coal it ac­quired from min­ing gi­ant Rio Tinto.

Me­nar Hold­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Vus­lat Bayo­glu, said on Fri­day that the pur­chase of Kan­gra Coal would give them a “strate­gic stake” at RBCT.

“We have over the years grad­u­ally in­creased our ex­ports. It makes strate­gic sense for us to gain ac­cess to RBCT,” he said.

“It’s good for our com­pany and it’s good for job cre­ation. We are ready to con­trib­ute to Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s vi­sion of turn­ing min­ing into a sun­rise in­dus­try.”

Bayo­glu said the will­ing­ness by GNF, which traded as Natur­gym, to sell their as­sets came at the right time, as his strat­egy to grow through ac­qui­si­tion as well as or­gan­i­cally by in­vest­ing in ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions was tak­ing shape. “We have the right set of skills and a proven track record to op­er­ate coal mines in chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ments,” he said. “We have cul­ti­vated these over many years and we are con­fi­dent that this ac­qui­si­tion is in the best in­ter­est of all stake­hold­ers – our share­hold­ers, work­ers and the gov­ern­ment.”

The RBCT is a strate­gic eco­nomic hub in the coun­try. Its 29.54 per­cent black-owned pri­vate sec­tor ter­mi­nal loaded 3.9m/t more coal last year, a 5.1 per­cent in­crease on 2016 and a 1.4 per­cent im­prove­ment from the pre­vi­ous record of 75.38m/t recorded in 2015. A record 81 per­cent of the coal loaded at RBCT last year was ex­ported to In­dia, Pak­istan and South Korea, while Europe ac­counted for 10.1 per­cent of the ex­ports and Africa 7.8 per­cent.

@luy­olomken­tane

76.47 mil­lion tons of coal were han­dled by RBCT dur­ing 2017.

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