The upgrade — which adds unleaded 93 and 95 octane to the fuels the pipeline can transport inland — comes just in time for the shutdown of the Natref refinery.
Transnet says its new multiproducts pipeline between Durban and Johannesburg is now being upgraded to multi-petroleum product mode.
Since its commissioning in 2012, the 555km pipeline has transported more than 16-billion litres of diesel between the two cities.
The upgrade means it will now also be able to transport two grades of petrol, unleaded 93 octane and unleaded 95 octane.
Including the new products, the pipeline is projected to pump 7-billion litres of petroleum products in financial 2017-18.
“Our main function is to make sure that we move fuel to all parts of the country and this project will certainly achieve that,” Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama said on Thursday.
The conversion of the pipeline to a multiproducts facility will also enable Transnet to improve security of supply risk during the planned shutdown of Sasol’s Natref refinery later in October.
Transnet said the development of the multiproducts pipeline project was within the time frames of the amended construction licence of the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa).
The state-owned entity has invested R30.4bn into the pipeline so far. It will replace the petroleum pipeline operational since 1965 with a new high-pressure conduit.