South Africa’s Transnet planning 360km pipeline for Zambia

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THE South Africa state-owned Transnet is in talks with the government of Zambia on a proposed pipeline from the refinery town of Ndola in northern Zambia to the country’s capital Lusaka.
Part of the discussion is also centred on plans by Transnet to transfer some of its rail tankers to Zambia Railways. Transnet is looking for a partner to pass the rail tankers to after they become redundant following the completion of the Durban to Johannesburg pipeline. Given the nature of the plans, analysts expect the transfer of the fuel tankers to precede construction of the proposed pipeline. ‘The rail tankers which are readily available could be delivered to ZRL once terms are agreed. The Tankers will allow ZRL to easily transfer petroleum products from the northern part of the country to other locations in the south including the capital,’ an Ecobank analyst said.
ZRL operates 1,224 kilometres rail line that run from Livingstone in the southern part of Zambia to Chililabombwe in the North. While the tankers could help ease transportation issues in the interim, the construction of a pipeline will be the most efficient solution. Adding the tankers to the rail system traffic could add to the stress on the rail network that is already overstretched by mining sector demand for rail capacity.

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