26 September 2007
The planned R4.2-billion liquid-fuels pipeline linking Mozambique and South Africa should be completed by the end of 2009, a spokesperson for pipeline company Petroline has said.
Petroline spokesperson Eugenio Silva told Reuters this week that work on the pipeline would start in mid-2008 and finish by the end of 2009. Petroline is a consortium consisting of Mozambican state-owned fuel company Petromoc and private South African and Mozambican investors.
“Current market growth indicates a critical petrol and diesel shortage in Gauteng in the future, and Petroline’s pipeline and storage facility will be able to satisfy a large portion of the future demands in South Africa by means of importation via Mozambique,” Petroline said in a statement.
“This should result in the decrease of the pressure on liquid fuels imports on Durban harbour and also support fuel imports to Mozambique and other southern African neighbours.”
Engineering News reported last month that British-based Petrofac had also taken up a 25% equity in the venture to build South Africa’s first privately owned liquid fuels pipeline since the 1960s. The report added that Petroline plans to dredge the Maputo port to a depth of 14 metres, which would allow vessels of up to 85 000 tonnes to use it.
According to Agencia de Informçao de Moçambique, the 400-kilometre pipeline will link the Mozambican port city of Matola with the town of Kendal in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province.
The agency explains that of the total budget of US$600-million, $243-million will be invested in constructing a 64-kilometre section between the Matola fuel terminal and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, with the remainder going towards extending the pipeline to Kendal.
The pipeline will have a diameter of 30 centimetres and have the capacity to transport five million tonnes of fuel per year.
“This project offers a great opportunity for regional co-operation and integration between South Africa and Mozambique and contribution to the upliftment of the [Southern African Development Community] region, at the same time strengthening the product supply security in South Africa,” Petroline states.