Siemens at the world’s largest coal terminal

Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group (I&S) will equip Richards Bay Coal Terminal Company Ltd. in South Africa with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

In addition to monitoring of the production level, the system also enables planning on the business level, thus ensuring a high degree of efficiency in manufacturing facilities. Thanks to its modular design, it will be easy to expand the system in future when necessary.

Commissioning is scheduled to take place end of 2008.

The Richards Bay coal terminal exports around 72 million metric tons of coal per year. An expansion program is intended to increase the annual capacity to over 90 million metric tons by 2009.

The coal supplies come from mines in the hinterland and are transported to the terminal via a 560 kilometer-long railway network. On arrival, up to 5500 metric tons of coal can be unloaded every hour and temporarily stored in coal tips with a total capacity of over 6 million metric tons.

Siemens is equipping the coal terminal with an MES which coordinates and monitors all movements of raw materials. The flow of information covers the arrival and storage of the raw material, handling and internal order processing, as well as flexible processing of the key production figures for the management level.

This will be the first integrated, Simatic IT project that is based completely on the ISA95 standard and is being implemented for the mining and materials processing industry. The system will be commissioned by Siemens and handed over as a turnkey solution.