Colombia’s El Cerrejon resumed loadings at Puerto Bolivar on May 31 following a 24-day railway blockade. However, workers created a new blockade on the line.
A group of El Cerrejon’s former workers began blocking the railway on May 5, preventing the railway from transporting up to 148,500 metric tons per day (mtpd) to Puerto Bolivar. The blockade was lifted on May 29, allowing El Cerrejon to resume coal loadings on May 31.
Cerrejon loaded 164,320 mt on the Zhong May bulk carrier on May 31 and the vessel departed on June 2 bound for Icdas in Turkey. This was the first departure since May 14, according to vessel tracker Fleetmon.
However, a spokesperson for El Cerrejon said the company might have to declare another force majeure if the railway remains blocked. The striking former workers said the company and government have not fulfilled their demands and that their proposals were ignored.
El Cerrejon, jointly owned by BHP, Anglo American and Glencore, said it began cost-cutting measures in February due to the effects of COVID-19 and a three-month strike led by its biggest union Sintracarbon in September-November 2020.