This week the port of Durban received one of the largest pieces of cargo for this year. This was a 242 ton, 31 metre long reactor for the SAPREF refinery.
The R50 million reactor, which has been dubbed “Umkhoma” (isiZulu word for whale) because of its “whale” like shape and for its size, was manufactured in Brescia, Italy and shipped to Durban.
The reactor will enable SAPREF to produce better, low sulphur diesel thus ensuring the future sustainability of diesel supply to the country. Umkhoma, which took over a year to manufacture, is made from vanadium-enriched chrome steel alloy which is a stronger and more durable material.
Project Manager Pensilla Billat is excited that the reactor has finally reached Durban after its 25 day trip from Italy. She says: “The reactor was classified as a Super Abnormal Load, thereby requiring road route clearance and special permission for its last journey from the Durban harbour to the Refinery in Prospecton.”
The replacement of the reactor is part of a series of projects to upgrade the refinery to make it more sustainable, competitive and environmentally friendly. Its installation in the refinery will coincide with SAPREF’s scheduled 2019 maintenance shutdown, a bi-yearly event that creates thousands of project-related jobs for Durban communities.