Saudi Railways Company mineral transport increased by 27 per cent in H1 2017

SAR mineral trainThe company's operational division has achieved growth in phosphate and bauxite transportation in 2017. (Image source: SAR)The mineral trains of Saudi Railways Company (SAR) transported 4.06mn tonnes of phosphate and bauxite during the first half of 2017, an increase of 27 per cent from the 3.21mn tonnes during the same period in 2016

Speaking to the press, Dr Bashar Bin Khaled Al Malik, CEO of SAR, said, “Mineral trains transported a total of 23,683,134 tonnes of phosphate, bauxite, molten sulphur and commercial phosphoric acid between May 2011 and June 2017.”

SAR has recently started transporting molten sulphur from the eastern province of Waset to Waad Al-Shamal in the north after successfully connecting the latter to its railway network. The company has also started transporting commercial phosphoric acid from Waad Al-Shamal to Maaden’s refinery in Ras Al Khair by the Arabian Gulf coast in June 2017.

Al Malik noted that SAR aims to increase the transportation rates to and from Waad Al-Shamal in compliance with its strategic partner Maaden’s requirements.

He further added that the company has become successful in raising the operational level of its mining freight line to generate additional capacity to meet the needs and requirements of Maaden.

Initially found in 2006 aiming to link the northern region of the Kingdom with both the eastern and central regions, SAR was also responsible for the management of the project in accordance to the international performance and safety standards. The company has further implemented railway projects that are strategically important to transport minerals and heavy haulage as well as passengers all over the country.

According to Al Malik, SAR wagons transporting molten sulphur are equipped with safety measures like thermal insulation systems and safety valves that focus on preventing combustion during transportation.

He described that more than 16,000 tonnes of goods are presently transported by trains per trip, with each consisting of three locomotives and more than 160 cars, which is equivalent to transporting around 640 trucks off the road. Through such projects, SAR is aiming to play a prominent role in supporting the country’s economic diversification in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.

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