Jan 11, 2012
First fuel begins to flow through SA’s new R23bn fuel pipelineBack
© Reuse this
The NMPP, which has been designed to handle various transport fuels, would eventually replace the aged Durban-to-Johannesburg pipeline, which was completed in 1965 and was nearing the end of its economically usable life.
The 555-km, 24-inch NMPP would initially work in conjunction with the old pipeline, until Terminal 1 at Island View, in Durban, and Terminal 2 at Jameson Park were fully completed in 2013.
The first product began flowing into the Gauteng fuel pipeline network, which connects at Jameson Park, when Transnet group CEO Brian Molefe opened a valve on the NMPP.
The Gauteng fuel pipeline network had also been upgraded in conjunction with the construction of the trunk line. This secondary network comprises a 16-inch pipeline network, linking Gauteng fuel depots between Kendal and Waltloo, Jameson Park and Alrode and Alrode and Langlaagte.
“We have completed one of the most cutting-edge and innovative infrastructure investments in the world. Transnet is today fulfilling two commitments, by ensuring that the inland market demand for fuel is met, and to ease road congestion by reducing the number of fuel tankers on our roads,” Molefe said.
However, Molefe also indicated that the pipeline’s price tag of R23.4-billion would now need to be recovered. In addition to last year’s pipeline tariff increase 59.9% Transnet had already applied to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for a further 22% increase.
The state-of-the-art pipeline would transport refined fuel products such as unleaded 93 and 95 octane petrol, low sulphur and ultralow sulphur diesel and jet fuel at a rate of about three-million litres an hour. The capacity of the line would be 26.7-billion litres of fuel a year.
Currently the pipeline uses three pumping stations, namely Tweni in Durban, Hilltop near Pietermaritzburg and Mnambithi pump station near Ladysmith. Two metering stations are also included.
Transnet pipelines CEO Charl Möller pointed out that the project had been designed with expansion in mind.
“The pipeline would be upgraded in five phases up to 2032 with the addition of more pumping stations and metering stations along the trunk line. In this way we would be able to expand the pipeline capacity by up to 200%, to keep up with the expected demand growth,” he said.
He added that although the pipeline could currently only operate at half of its Phase 1 desing capacity, owing to the storage terminal at Jameson Park not being finished, and could also only carry a single product, the pipeline would come into its own once the terminals came on line.
The completed pipeline, as well as the two terminals under construction, had been designated as national key points, which would help ensure fuel supply security. The NMPP would also be able to provide fuel product for three days, should there be a supply interruption.
The pipeline was expected to be economically active for the next 80 years and provide permanent jobs for at least 110 people.
The project used a groundbreaking technology to prime the completed empty pipe, using nitrogen to counter backpressure encountered on the steep downgrades where the pipeline comes down Van Reenen’s pass on the escarpment. It was also dried at -20 ˚C, to ensure that no water or other liquids remained in the pipe that could lead to contamination.
Further, the pipeline, which is constructed form the highest available grade steel, was laid in 1.5-deep trenches along most of its route, except where it had to cross other existing infrastructure and rivers, as well as a number of large ecologically sensitive wetlands.
Edited by: Terence Creamer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Editor
Other Pipelines News
Article contains comments
Updated 2 hours 16 minutes ago World-renowned fuel cell scientist Dr Sharon Blair would like to see South Africa supply 25% of the global demand for fuel cells by 2020, stating that the country has a tremendous opportunity to develop the industry and capture a share of the growing sector. However,...
Updated 2 hours 39 minutes ago Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown should table an uncensored contract agreement between Eskom and one of its coal suppliers owned by the Gupta family, the Democratic Alliance (DA) urged on Wednesday. The Sunday Times reported on September 13 that Gupta-owned...
Updated 2 hours 55 minutes ago Cosatu's provincial general secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, had strong words for government and higher income groups as union members marched to Parliament on Wednesday. “We want them to tax the people who live in Clifton and Sea Point,” he demanded, saying workers...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 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 infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Black-owned investment holding company Sphere Holdings plans to raise a further R1-billion in the coming months in support of its strategy to become a leading black industrial enterprise, which could ultimately seek a listing on the JSE.
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme. LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...