Ngaka coal mine meets suppliers’ demands

THE government’s ban on importation of coal for cement manufacturing has paid off as a giant producer of coal products in the country, TANCOAL, has implemented such directive within four months by over 100 per cent .
The company Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Shedd, said here on Friday that they had managed at their Ngaka Coal Mine to meet the demand of coal by cement manufacturers after increasing production capacity from 50,000 tonnes to over 80,000 metric tonnes a month.
“When Premier Kassim Majaliwa banned importation of coal, we were facing a great challenge for implementing that directive within a short period of time. However, now we are happy that we are meeting the orders from over 20 companies that had been relying on imported coal,” said TANCOAL boss.
The total demand of coal by cement manufacturers was 60,000 tonnes per month.
He said that they have managed to overcome the challenges of hostile weather, poor transport infrastructures and chronic complaints on delayed supply and managed to introduce new production machines.
They have already procured mining, production, processing and quality assurance equipment that have increased productivity and quality to meet the customer’s needs, according to Mr Shedd.
The attributes have increased production with excess capacity for exports to neighboring countries.
“We are now confident to sustain coal production and attain other related objectives including future production of electricity and briquettes, ” he said. Explaining more, Deputy Mine Manager, Mr Edward Mwanga, said they have as well acquired an additional weighbridge to address the long queues for packing and loading of cargo.
“Earlier we were loading 80 trucks a day but with the new weighbridge we are now serving over 155 trucks.
” The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, banned importation of coal, accusing local cement manufacturers seeking to import coal from other countries, particularly South Africa, of being driven by the 10 per cent commission paid to them. The minister has defended its ban on coal imports and warned smugglers of punitive measures.
The minister was on a tour of Ngaka coal mine in Ruvuma region, about 900 kilometre from Dar es Salaam, with a group of stakeholders. “The government will never allow importation of coal while our local mines have tonnes of coal deposits that they hesitate to produce because there is no market.
“This is the government decision and it will never change. By the way, from now on, we are going to use Interpol to catch those who attempt to smuggle coal,” said Prof Muhongo.
Ngaka coalmine is owned by Tancoal Energy Ltd, a joint venture between the National Development Corporation of Tanzania with a 30 per cent stake, and Intra Energy (T) Ltd of Australia with a 70 per cent stake.