December 20, 2018 / 1:34 PM / 6 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-South Africa coal train derails, export line shut -Transnet

(In Dec. 20 story, corrects coal export figure in fifth paragraph to 5.2 million tonnes, not 7.95 million)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 20 (Reuters) - A 200-wagon coal train derailed in South Africa on Thursday, shutting down the rail line that links mines to the Richards Bay export terminal, freight firm Transnet said.

The crew were unhurt in the incident, in which 51 wagons derailed, the state-run company said.

“The export line has been closed to allow engineers and maintenance crew to re-rail the wagons and repair the line. The closure will impact all commodities that are transported on the line, like coal and chrome,” Transnet’s freight rail unit said in a statement.

South African coal loadings this month are on course to be their highest since at least 2015, buoyed by strong demand in Asia.

South Africa has so far loaded 5.2 million tonnes of coal in December, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, compared with from 5.3 million in November and 6.5 million a year earlier.

“There is no estimated time of reopening at this stage but the intention is to open the one line that was not badly damaged as soon as possible so as to allow the flow of trains,” Transnet said. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by Jason Neely and Kevin Liffey)

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