Fuel pipeline delay confirmed

2010-10-08 00:00

THE acting group chief executive of Transnet, Chris Wells, yesterday confirmed that the company has made a formal request to the National Energy Regulator of SA to amend its construction licence for the petroleum products pipeline between Durban and Johannesburg, to allow for delays of parts of the project.

However, Wells said the pipeline will be operational — but not at full capacity — by December 2011 as expected.

Other aspects of the project, namely the terminal, will be delayed.

Wells was speaking at a briefing in Durban.

Construction of the new multi-product pipeline (NMPP) is under way and it will be crucial for the secure supply of petroleum products to the inland market, including Gauteng.

“The revised schedule is for the 24-inch NMPP trunk line to be completed in September 2011 and operational by December 2011. The remaining activities [inclusive of the accumulator tanks] are now scheduled to be complete and ready for operation by December 31, 2013,” Transnet said yesterday.

Transnet had previously indicated that December 2012 was its earliest completion date, while August 2013 was the latest completion date for all construction activities.

Wells attributed the expected schedule variations mainly to a decision to relocate the construction of the coastal terminals from the old Durban International Airport to Island View in the Port of Durban.

The move to Island View led to the pipeline being lengthened by 11 km, affecting the hydraulics and requiring a change of design.

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