Transnet pipelines, formerly known as Petronet, the custodian of the
country’s strategic pipeline assets, is currently servicing two key
industries (fuel and gas) by transporting petroleum and gas products over
varying distances. Our business, having been established in 1965, is
integral to the well-being of the South African economy.
The business handles an annual average throughput of some 16 billion
litres of liquid fuel and more than 450 million cubic metres of gases.
The liquid products include crude oil as well as diesel, leaded and
unleaded petrol and aviation turbine fuels.
The Pipeline Network
The liquid fuels network traverses the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Free
State, Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga. The intake stations are the
two Durban refineries - the crude refinery at Coalbrook (Natref) and the
Sasol 2 and Sasol 3 synfuel plants at Secunda. The network includes a
tank farm, at Tarlton, with a capacity of 30 million litres which is
used mainly for storage and the distribution of liquid fuels into
The gas pipeline, a converted line previously used for liquids, runs from
Secuda to Durban via Empangeni. It has take-off points at Newcastle and Richards
Bay as well as along the route between Empangeni and Durban.
All Transnet pipelines' pipelines conform to ASME B31.4, an American
code of practice, with their diameters designated in inches from six
inches (nominally 150 mm) to 20 inches (nominally 508 mm). Pressure in
the pipeline network is monitored on a 24 hour-a-day, 365 days-a-year
basis at the control centre at Transnet pipelines' Durban head office.
Transnet pipelines' staff complement of some 600 is deployed across the
pipeline network with the business itself being geographically
decentralised. The regional offices in Bedfordview are in the north of
Johannesburg, housing the main support functions including marketing,
finance, human resources, technical, projects and information systems,
with a second branch located in Pinetown.
Transnet pipelines' customers are all South Africa's major fuel
companies namely; BP, Caltex, Engen, Exel, Sasol Oil, Sasol Gas, Tepco,
Shell and Total. Many of these organisations are empowerment companies,
representing new players in the market.
Transnet pipelines' network transports 100% of South Africa's bulk
The Natref inland refinery receives all of its crude oil requirements
from Transnet pipelines' pipelines.
Transnet pipelines continually monitors the integrity of its pipeline
network. Internal inspection tools, known as Intelligent Pigs, are valuable
devices for this work. They make use of the magnetic stray flux principle to
determine and record possible areas of metal loss from corrosion or any other
cause. The results of the most recent Intelligent Pig survey of the network
indicate that the pipelines, which are methodically protected against
electrolytic corrosion, are in a generally good condition.
A strategic maintenance plan for Transnet pipelines' assets has been
compiled, and ongoing maintenance projects are monitored by a steering
committee to ensure that the pipeline system and its peripherals are
continuously improved upon.
Transnet pipelines is structured and manned in such a way that it
can optimally manage its own network and grow. Our experienced and
dedicated workforce is ready and able to face the diverse challenges and
play the role as expected of Transnet pipelines and the various