Transnet NMPP Project

Babcock delivers plant services for strategic pipeline project

Transnet’s New Multi-Purpose Product Pipeline (NMPP) is one of the largest and most complex multi-product pipelines in the world, covering an underground distance of 715 kilometres. The NMPP will transport liquid petroleum fuel from Durban to Gauteng and neighbouring regions.

Without the NMPP, South Africa’s inland areas would have faced severe fuel restrictions as demand was fast outweighing supply. The new-24 inch main pipeline replaced the existing 12-inch Durban-Johannesburg Pipeline (DJP) which had been in operation since 1965 and was reaching the end of its economic lifespan.

Babcock supplied mobile cranes and other mechanical construction equipment to the main contractors working on the project. Group Five Oil & Gas, Goss & Balfe, Mei Construction & Services as well as Msweli Industrial Projects all worked on the Heidelberg/Nigel section of the project where Terminal 2 was constructed.

The NMPP project began in 2008 and comprised of:

- the construction of 160 kilometres of 16-inch steel inland pipelines
- a 550 kilometre 24-inch main trunk pipeline
- three inland pumping stations
- two accumulator terminals in Durban and Johannesburg respectively

It will transport gasoline/petrol (unleaded 93 octane and unleaded 95 octane), diesel (low-sulphur and ultra-low-sulphur) and jet fuel.

Babcock’s involvement in the NMPP project commenced in July 2013 with the supply of specialised equipment and broad range of expertise. The plant supplied and serviced by Babcock’s Sasolburg branch include:

- 14 mobile cranes - ranging from 8 tonne to 220 tonne
- 3 tractors with 12 metre trailers
- a 300 KVA generator
- 35 generators in the 25 KVA to 50 KVA range
- 10 single diesel welding machines
- approximately 110 inverters

The NMPP represents cutting-edge innovation in concept, design and implementation and is expected to deliver environmental and socio-economic benefits. It will reduce road congestion and road maintenance costs and lower carbon emissions associated with road transport. The pipeline is a legacy project designed to serve South Africa for decades to come and is expected to be a world-class asset of strategic importantance.

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