Multi-product Pipeline Impresses
The multi-product pipeline to convey refined petroleum products from Durban to Johannesburg is scheduled for completion next year, and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Ms Mmathulare Elsie Coleman, says her Committee is impressed. The 705-km, State-owned pipeline is being built to replace the Durban to Johannesburg Pipeline (DJP), which was built in 1965 and has been operating at capacity, but is nearing the end of its design life.
“It is not often that you hear of projects of this nature coming into operation and Transnet is committed to finishing the project,” said Ms Coleman, while visiting Gauteng with her Committee, to assess how provincial projects were aligned with the country’s economic policies.
Mr Shakespear Radebe of Transnet said the R24bn pipeline to convey diesel, gas, jet fuel and petrol was scheduled for completion December 2013 and would start operating in the first quarter of 2014.
“Since January this year, petroleum products have been transported from Durban to Heidelberg, Johannesburg. A network of 16-inch pipes linking to the bigger (24 inch) pipeline has been completed: (the tests are) an indication that we are on track,” Mr Radebe said.
Once complete, the pipeline would be able to transport petrol, diesel, jet fuel and gas.
Transnet’s pipeline project employed 12 000 employees directly and about 21 000 indirectly, through various companies supplying products and services to it.
“The bulk of our workers, 80%, are locally recruited. We have trained these workers in skills such as welding and pipe-fitting,” Mr Radebe added.
The Committee asked how imported skilled workers would help local labour. Transnet responded that their skilled workers were paired with locals to enable transfer of skills. Transnet was training young interns in engineering and other skills; 20 as technicians and 70 in engineering, plus 40 vocational students.
To boost small, medium and micro enterprises Transnet said they had a localised procurement policy to buy products from local producers as far as possible.
The Committee wanted to see
more co-operatives involved in this project.