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)
Other Energy News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...