Press release

Impala invests USD27 million in multi-modal coal transportation system

Published on29 Mar 2012

Cartagena, Colombia, 30 March 2012 – Impala Warehousing and Logistics International B.V. “Impala”, a wholly-owned subsidiary of leading commodities company, Trafigura Beheer B.V. “Trafigura”, today announced a USD27 million investment to develop a multi-modal transportation system in Colombia. This development will allow easier, safer, and more efficient transportation of coal and other commodities along the Magdalena River. The investment, in a fleet of 19 dry cargo barges and a tug, will strengthen navigation on Colombia’s principal waterway and promote the country’s ability to export key commodities to international markets.


Colombia’s Magdalena River is the largest in Colombia, running over 1,500 kilometres from the Andes in the southwest to the Caribbean. Impala is signalling a strong commitment to Colombia and the country’s ongoing effort to convert the Magdalena River into a highly competitive water transport route. The river connects Colombia’s mining operations in its interior to Barranquilla, the country’s fourth largest city and a major port serving the Caribbean region and other international markets.


Colombia’s economy, which grew by nearly 6% in 2011, was boosted, in part, by a strong mining sector, particularly in coal. Colombia is the world’s fourth largest coal producer and saw a dramatic rise in coal production in 2011. More than 90% of production was exported, principally to the United States and Europe.


Each Impala barge is 197 feet (60 metres) long with a total cargo capacity of 2,500 tonnes so creating a total fleet capacity of 47,500 tonnes. All barges are double-hulled to promote greater safety. The barges will initially be docked in Barranquilla and the port city of Barrancabermeja located on the banks of the Magdalena River, and are expected to be fully operational by mid-May this year.


Also arriving this week in Cartagena will be a 3,150hp tug boat that will navigate the barges up and down the river. The tug is equipped with modern navigation instruments and nine rudders intended to significantly improve the maneuverability of the convoys.


“Impala’s role in creating a multi-modal logistics chain, at a time when there is a great interest in reducing logistics costs in Colombia, demonstrates our strong confidence in the competitive advantages that the Magdalena River has over other modes of transportation,” said Alejandro Costa, General Manager of Impala in Colombia.


Speaking on behalf of Colombia's Magdalena river regional autonomous corporation (Cormagdalena) Augusto García, Executive Director said “Impala’s investment represents a vote of confidence in the river’s potential and a long term commitment to Colombia. This investment will play a pivotal role in developing the multi-modal logistics system that the country needs to generate economies of scale, reduce logistics costs, and bring Colombia’s industrial capability closer to global markets.”


About Impala


Impala is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trafigura, one of the world’s leading international commodity traders. Impala was formed in 2010 following the consolidation of Trafigura's bulk commodity, warehousing and logistics activities.


Impala currently employs over 850 people globally and has world-class expertise extending across the non-ferrous concentrates, refined metals, iron ore and coal sectors. Operations include the blending of metal concentrates in Chile, China, Mexico and Peru, iron ore operations in China and India, and coal operations in the U.S., China and Colombia.


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