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WATCH | Fuel theft at Transnet pipeline results in spillage and environmental damage

The diesel has entered the Meul River and environmental teams are trying to contain the contamination, says Transnet.
The diesel has entered the Meul River and environmental teams are trying to contain the contamination, says Transnet.
Image: 123RF/Tomasz Wyszolmirski

Transnet says it is working with law enforcement agencies to tighten security at its pipelines after thieves tampered with a block valve chamber, resulting in a massive diesel spillage.

“In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a pressure drop on the multi product pipeline between Durban and Heidelberg was detected by the Transnet pipelines national control centre,’ said Transnet spokesperson Sarete Knoetze.

“The security tactical teams were dispatched to the site to investigate. It was confirmed there was tampering with a block valve chamber.

“Emergency teams were immediately deployed to contain and recover the product,” said Knoetze.

She said the diesel had also migrated to the Meul River and environmental teams are trying to contain the contamination.

According to Knoetze, Transnet has in the past year implemented security interventions to address fuel theft attempts, which she said had yielded positive results and reduced the number of incidents by 50%, compared to the year before.

“We continue to work with law enforcement agencies to stop this criminal activity and keep the pipelines and surrounding communities safe.

“We appeal to all strategic role players in the industry, including petroleum retailers and members of the public, to refrain from buying fuel from unregistered traders. Joint special operations have been mobilised to investigate illegal activities relating to fuel theft and any persons involved will face the full might of the law,” Knoetze said.

She said because of inherent dangers of tampering with high-pressure petroleum pipelines, there had been incidents of fire and other asset damage which had cost Transnet a lot of money.

“Some incidents have also resulted in serious injuries and fatalities as the petroleum products transported are hazardous,” Knoetze said.

TimesLIVE



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