'New petrol line will reduce traffic'

08 October 2010 - 09:01 By Sapa

The petroleum pipeline under construction between Durban and Johannesburg will bring a marked reduction in tanker road traffic, says Transnet.

It said the portion of tankers carrying petroleum products to the inland market would go down by at least 60 percent.

Once completed, the Multi-Product Pipeline (NMPP) would ensure the security of petroleum products to the inland market, including Gauteng, South Africa's economic heartland, Transnet spokesman Mboniso Sigonyela said in a statement.

"It will reduce deterioration of the road network, road maintenance costs and congestion on the roads."

When fully operational, it would improve Transnet's and South Africa's carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions from the road transportation of petroleum products.

"It is the safest, most cost effective and very efficient mode of moving petroleum products," said Sigonyela.

The remaining activities, inclusive of the accumulator tanks, were scheduled to be completed and ready for operation by December 31, 2013.

The National Energy Regulator of SA awarded Transnet the licence to build the 24 inch trunk-line pipeline including the 16 inch inland network and two terminals in December 2007.

The NMPP is to replace the existing and ageing Durban to Johannesburg pipeline which is operated by Transnet Pipelines – a division of Transnet.

It is the single biggest project in Transnet's R93.4 billion five-year capital investment portfolio.

Initially, Transnet intended to build a 16 inch trunk line from Durban to Gauteng. Following consultation with government as part of the energy security master plan for liquid fuels, the department of energy required that the company build a 24 inch pipeline.

The NMPP was the largest multi-product pipeline in the world and would have a lifespan of over 70 years.