Jan 11, 2012
First fuel begins to flow through SA’s new R23bn fuel pipelineBack
DURBAN|Johannesburg|Diesel|Energy|Flow|PROJECT|Security|Transnet|South Africa|Johannesburg Pipeline|Flow|Fuel Pipeline Network|Pipeline Network|Secondary Network|State-owned Freight Logistics|Steel|Transport|Brian Molefe|Van Reenen
© 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
Other Video News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of 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 steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...