Diesel flowed through Transnet’s new multi-product pipeline (NMPP) from Durban to Heidelberg for the first time on Wednesday.
“We are now able to concurrently run the Durban to Johannesburg pipeline and the NMPP with petroleum products that will see some three million litres per hour … flowing between Durban and Johannesburg every week,” Transnet group CEO Brian Molefe told reporters.
He then turned a valve linked to the NMPP to show it was carrying fuel.
The diesel took a week to travel 555km, from the Durban port to the Jameson Park inland terminal in Heidelberg, at a speed of 6kph to 7kph.
The pipeline passes through three pump stations — all now completed — and over the Drakensberg escarpment.
A network of pipes linking to the bigger pipeline had also been completed, Molefe said.
The entire R23.4-billion NMPP will be finished when the two terminals are complete.
A terminal at Jameson Park and another at Island View in the port of Durban would be completed within the next 18 months.
Once complete, the pipeline would be able to transport petrol, diesel, jet fuel and gas. — Sapa