State-owned Transnet says it is increasing the supply of jet fuel through the National Multi-Product Pipeline from Durban inland, while repairs to the railway line that is also used to transport fuel to Gauteng get under way following damage from the floods in KwaZulu-Natal in April.
Currently, Transnet Pipelines (TPL) is transporting 14-million litres of jet fuel between the Natref refinery and the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) a week.
To supplement the weekly supply, 20-million litres of imported jet fuel has been injected into the pipeline in Durban, and is expected to reach Natref on May 18.
Natref will store this jet fuel in its tanks and thereafter supplement the average weekly supply with an additional five-million litres a week for the next four weeks using the dedicated jet fuel pipeline to ORTIA.
TPL says it is also reviewing medium and long-term solutions to ensure security of supply through the pipeline from Durban to ORTIA.
The single rail line operation between Durban and Gauteng is expected to be restored by June 9, with the double line operation to be fully restored by September 30.
Transnet engineers have assessed which sections of the double rail line can be restored in the shortest possible time to ramp up operations as soon as reasonably possible, it says.
While the rail infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal is being repaired, Transnet Freight Rail has activated rail services with the loading of jet fuel at Matola, in Mozambique, and supplying fuel to ORTIA.
The current jet fuel volume is 17.8-million litres, with the expected consumption of 2.6-million litres a day.
Jet fuel stockpiles at ORTIA are currently at 5.1 days, which Transnet says is within the target range of five to seven days.
Weekly ORTIA jet fuel management meetings are being held with all stakeholders, including Transnet, to ensure the security of supply risk is mitigated.