SA unveils locally built fuel wagons
19 November 2012
Transnet's unveiling of 50 locally built fuel-transporting tank wagons was a milestone
in South Africa's quest to become an original equipment manufacturing hub on the
continent, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said last week.
Gigaba was speaking at the unveiling of the tank wagons at Transnet Rail
Engineering's plant in Germiston, east of Johannesburg.
The 17-metre long wagons, each capable of carrying approximately 74 000 litres, will
be used to transport highly flammable liquids stored under great pressure.
The wagons are a product of a partnership between Transnet Pipelines (TPL) and
Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE), both divisions of state-owned company Transnet.
TRE has invested over R20-million in modern technologies specific to the
As the owner of the design of the wagons, TRE had now positioned it as the
leader in the manufacturing of the new high-pressure tank
wagons in southern
Africa, Gigaba said.
'Innovative opportunity for the economy'
"This technological progress presents a massive innovative opportunity for the South
African economy," he said.
"It demonstrates that TRE can act as both the original equipment manufacturer and
prime contractor for the design and manufacture of complex and safety critical rolling
"This is clearly a watershed that all South Africans can be extremely proud of, as we
continue to build and demonstrate our capability in our quest to become an
important technology and original equipment manufacturing hub in Africa," he said.
The order for the tank wagons was placed in 2011, with the last six wagons handed
over in October.
TPL decided to initially focus its market demand strategy on the delivery of
fuel from its Tarlton terminal near Krugersdorp to Botswana. The wagons will be used
to ensure fuel security to the country's landlocked
neighbour Botswana, Transnet
The service began operating in earnest in October and, depending on the demand
from other outlying areas, the service could see an increase in demand for fuel
supplies, in which case more wagons will be needed.
"The more we complete and showcase projects of this nature, the more we must
increase our research and development investment so that we stay ahead of our
competitors and further refine our products," Gigaba said.
He said he looked forward to TRE receiving orders for the tanker wagons from
customers on the continent and Asia, among others.
"It is imperative that we build on this experience. We need to move TRE
systematically up the value chain to become prime contractor and manufacturer of