http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.20Change: -0.01
R/$ = 10.96Change: 0.01
Au 1235.97 $/ozChange: -0.95
Pt 1361.00 $/ozChange: -7.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 07, 2005

Durban seeks to deal with problem petrol pipelines

Back
Construction|DURBAN|Engineering|Harbour|Prospecton|The|Africa|Diesel|Engen|Gas|Marine|Pipe|Pipeline Peformance Technologies|Pipelines|PROJECT|Shell|Shell SA|System|Systems|Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Engen Stable|Island View Complex|Island View Harbour Facility|Island View HarbournFacility|Automotive|Automotive Diesel Oil Lines|Automotive Gas Oil Lines|Bunker Fuel Oil|Crude Oil|Crude-oil Lines|Crude-oil Refinery|Energy|Energy Multinationals|Fuel-oil Pipeline|Lube Oil Line|LubenOil Line|Marine Fuel Oil|Naptha And Marine Fuel Oil|Petroleum Gas|Pipeline Network|Product|Products|Residual Product|Systems|Environmental|South Durban Community Environmental Alliance|Dirk Van Oostendorp|Infrastructure|Margaret Rowe|Michael Sutcliffe|CP|Pipe|Pipelines|R300|Diesel
Construction|Engineering|Harbour||Africa|Diesel|Engen|Marine|Pipe|Pipelines|PROJECT|Shell|System|Systems|Africa|||Automotive|Energy|Products|Systems|Environmental||Infrastructure||Pipe|Pipelines||
construction|durban|engineering|harbour|prospecton|the|africa-company|diesel-company|engen|gas-company|marine|pipe-company|pipeline-peformance-technologies|pipelines-company|project|shell|shell-sa|system|systems-company|africa|united-kingdom|united-states|engen-stable|island-view-complex|island-view-harbour-facility|island-view-harbournfacility|automotive|automotive-diesel-oil-lines|automotive-gas-oil-lines|bunker-fuel-oil|crude-oil|crudeoil-lines|crudeoil-refinery|energy|energy-multinationals|fueloil-pipeline|lube-oil-line|lubenoil-line|marine-fuel-oil|naptha-and-marine-fuel-oil|petroleum-gas|pipeline-network|product|products|residual-product|systems|environmental|south-durban-community-environmental-alliance|dirk-van-oostendorp|infrastructure|margaret-rowe|michael-sutcliffe|cp-product|pipe|pipelines|r300|diesel
© Reuse this Several kilometres of Durban’s underground petrol pipelines are to be refurbished in a project worth around R400-million, following the publication of a 2004 report that shows numerous inadequacies by the Sapref and Engen refineries in the maintenance of their pipelines.

Funded by the city and the Sapref and Engen refineries, the pipeline report was commissioned after a series of underground pipe failures in recent years, which included a leak of more than 1,2-million litres of petrol in the Wentworth residential area in 2001.

Despite its recommendation to revamp thepipelines, the report has done little to alleviate the conflict between the South Durban communityand the two refineries, which have been at loggerheads about issues such as petrol spills and airquality since the 1990s.

Nestled next to the tall towers of industry,battle-weary residents of South Durban saythe only solution is to replace the pipelines, rather then the extensive refurb currently on the cards.

The first step
eThekwini Municipality city manager Dr Michael Sutcliffe says the city commissioned the pipeline study following a number of failures occurring in the recent past on the various transfer pipelines that run from the Engen and Sapref refineries to the Island View harbour facility.

“The city viewed these pipeline failures with concern and raised various questions in terms of pipeline integrity management practices, design specifications and whether the pipelines, in their current state, are fit for service. To my knowledge we are the first municipality in the world to commission such a study, which includes a peer review.” The study centred on researching the history of the pipeline network and associated integrity management practices of both refineries, with a view to understanding the root cause of the failures and determining future practices; assessing the current status of the pipelines and reviewing rehabilitation plans submitted by the refineries; and then finally submitting findings and recommendations.

The report was compiled by Pipeline Peformance Technologies (PPT), which privatised from the CSIR in 2000, with an international peer review conducted by Dirk van Oostendorp, from the US, who is a professional member of the British Instituteof Corrosion, and a certified senior corrosiontechnologist.

Oostendorp was chosen and fully paid for the peer review by the city council alone, notes Sutcliffe.

Infrastructure history
Sapref is a 50:50 joint venture between energy multinationals Shell SA Energy and BP Southern Africa. It is Southern Africa’s largest crude-oil refinery, with 35% of the country’s refining capacity, which equates to 180 000 barrels of crude oil per day or 8,5-million tons per year.

The refinery is located in Prospecton, about 16 km south of Durban. There are seven underground fuel transfer lines running about 12 km between the refinery and the Island View harbour facility.

The products transferred in these pipelines include diesel, petrol, naptha and marine fuel oil.

Between 1972 and 2003 Sapref had nine recorded leaks on its transfer pipelines, with eight of these leaks being a direct result of external corrosion.

The oldest pipelines are the naptha, liquefied petroleum gas, marine fuel oil (MFO) and automotive gas oil lines, commissioned in 1963.

The lubricating base oils and dual-purpose kerosene lines were commissioned in 1967, with the Mogas line, transferring various grades of petrol, commissioned in 1973.

Sutcliffe says PPT was unable to obtain accurately the leak history data on Engen’s transfer pipelines. However, it was established that there were leaks on some of the pipelines inside the Engen plant area and a leak on the fuel-oil pipeline.

Engen owns eight transfer pipelines that run from its refinery to the Island View complex and each covers a distance of approximately seven kilo-metres.

The products transferred by these pipelines include petrol, diesel, lube oils and white oils.

The oldest pipelines in the Engen stable are the white oils, unleaded petrol, bunker fuel oil and automotive diesel oil lines, commissioned in 1952.

The petrol and crude-oil lines were commissioned in 1970, the lube oil line in 1971 and the solvents line in 1977.

PPT reports that, since commissioning of its pipelines, Sapref has undertaken extensive intelligent pigging and has an ongoing pipeline rehabilitation plan, as well as risk-based assessment (RBA) and risk-based inspection (RBI) systems in place.

(Pigging, among other tasks, serves to clear debris from pipelines, to remove residual product and to gauge the internal bore of the pipeline.) The report also states that tightness and hydrostatic testing at Sapref is carried out according to international norms.

The report found that Engen’s two four-inch pipelines have not been pigged and that the other lines have only been pigged once.

It also states that the refinery has an ongoingrehabilitation programme.

Report shows maintenance inadequacies
The PPT report highlights numerous inadequacies by both refineries in the maintenance of the pipelines, many of which date back to the time of construction, says Sutcliffe. Also important though, he adds, is that bothrefineries “have made significant progress in addressing pipeline integrity over the past few years”. The report states that the root cause of thepipeline failures have been corrosion caused bystray currents, which is the predominant failure mechanism on the pipelines, caused by ineffective cathodic protection (CP) systems.

The report further states that the problem of stray currents has never been satisfactorily remedied and is the main reason why ongoing leaks have been encountered.

The CP systems’ effectiveness is reported to have been poor for decades and the study highlighted some of the problems with the existing CP systems.

(As a primary safeguard, underground pipelines carrying petroleum products are covered in a special protective wrapping. CP is a secondary protective system. If the wrapping breaks down, CP takes over to protect the pipelines from corrosion in the wet ground and to combat stray currents in the ground.) (Stray currents are caused by direct current (dc) traction on railway lines that could be up to 60 km away. Dc currents can leave the railway lines at certain points, move along metallic structures, such as pipelines, and eventually leave the metallic structure to return to the traction substation. Stray currents entering a pipeline are not a concern, but when they leave the line they can contribute to corrosion if the wrapping at that spot has broken down, Sapref communications manager Margaret Rowe explains.) The report also states that between the early 1960s and 1970s the external coatings on two of the pipelines under inspection were operated at significantly higher temperatures than the coating could withstand, which resulted in severe damage to the external coating.

Recommendations
In tackling the question of CP systems, thePPT report recommends that Sapref and Engen immediately redesign and upgrade their CP systems, undertake detailed stray current analysis to determine patterns; and install remote monitoring systems for all CP units.

Specific recommendations for Sapref include that its MFO and Mogas lines must be rewrapped by 2006, and that pigging must be done on an annual basis until one year after a new CP system has been installed and is operating as designed, and the MFO and Mogas lines have been rewrapped.

Sapref must also immediately finalise its detailed assessment programme and must clearly define its integrity management plan.

Recommendations for Engen include the rewrapping of all pipelines, that it must re-pig all pipelines by December 2006, and that all mitred bends must be removed by the end of this year to facilitate pigging. The report states that the current intervention plans at both refineries are in line with international best practice, that significant sections of the pipelines have already been cut out and repaired, and that all the recommendations, when implemented, will help to ensure the integrity of the pipelines in the future.

The international peer review of the report found no errors.

The overall judgement is that the Sapref and Engen pipelines do not need to be replaced provided the recommendations made by PPT are adhered to.

The next step
Sutcliffe says the city council has met with both Engen and Sapref which have accepted PPT’s findings and recommendations without any reser-vation.

“The city will ensure that all the recommend-ations of PPT are fully complied with and that the recommendations are incorporated into thescheduled trade permits of both Engen and Sapref. The city retains the services of PPT to review all inspection records on an annual basis, in order to provide expert opinion.

“The city is currently expanding the study to include the Island View complex, which has a number of pipelines and is faced with similarchallenges. We are also establishing a committee with all relevant role-players to deal with the right-of-way issues,” he explains.

Response from the refineries
Rowe says Sapref is committed to meeting the recommendations of the report – as a minimum.

“R6,5-million was immediately released for the redesign of the CP system. British Pipeline Association has been contracted for this work. In addition, we will continue with the present pipeline inspection programme that exceeds US standards for a few years after completion of the upgrade and we will share inform-ation on the pipelines such as operating temper-atures and inspection results with the community.

“We have also commissioned an integrity review of our pipelines within the Island View complex.” Adherence to the report will cost Sapref R300-million to R400-million.

In a statement issued shortly after the report was published, acting GM for the Engen refinery Willem Oosthuizen said it believed “that the results of the PPT study . . . are accurate”.

“The study . . . pointed out that the cathodic protection system of our pipelines has fallen behind international best practice and it needs immediate upgrade. As a result of this finding, an international company is now doing a design that will assist us in upgrading our cathodic protection to be in line with international best practice.” He also said that his refinery had spent R20-million on repair work to date, and estimated that another R50-million to R60-million will beneeded to complete the remaining repair andupgrading work.

Community demands new pipelines
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) is a fierce Green voice. In its attempts to be heard SDCEA chairperson Desmond D’Sa had travelled to the UK in 2002 to confront the board of Shell – armed with nothing but a single share in the multinational company – on whathe terms the poor environmental standards the company upholds at its Durban refinery.

D’Sa tells Engineering News that because of the number of incidents in the last few years his organisation is “calling for the replacement of the pipelines, which have not been maintained properly”.

He says SDCEA is currently sourcing expert opinions of its own on the matter.

“The refineries should sit down and discuss with us the replacement of the pipelines, which are simply too old to continue operation”. However, Sapref and Engen are unlikely to relent.

Rowe says the PPT study ‘concluded that the pipelines did not need to be replaced.

“Their report was peer reviewed by a pipeline consultant who concurred with PPT’s findings and recommendations. These specialists would have recommended the pipelines be replaced if they felt this was necessary.

“We have been advised that, once the recommendations have been implemented, the lines will last at least another 40 years.” In Engen’s statement Oosthuizen says the study’s results “have confirmed that our pipelines do not need to be replaced. The programme we have in place will ensure that the long-term integrity of our pipelines is maintained”.
Edited by: Irma Venter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latest News
Ian Donald and Sullivan O’Carroll
Updated 2 hours 9 minutes ago Nestlé South Africa announced plans on Wednesday to invest a further R2-billion over the coming five years to grow its domestic manufacturing base, which would increasingly be used as a platform to supply into fast-growing sub-Saharan African markets. The Swiss food...
Updated 2 hours 15 minutes ago In a landmark R1.5-billion deal that precedes it planned listing on the JSE, Pivotal Property Fund has acquired “strategic” land and property assets from Standard Bank Properties, which includes Sandton’s landmark Alice Lane development. “Pivotal has acquired...
Updated 2 hours 28 minutes ago Lafarge Africa, Finland's Wartsila and the World Bank's IFC have agreed to build a 220 MW gas-fired power plant in Nigeria to boost electricity supplies, they said on Wednesday. The trio said in a statement their plan was to help fast-track increased power supplies...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse.   Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June  to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm  Fischer Consortium the  contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks