Last month’s article shed lights on the gas pipeline network in Egypt and the expansion potentials and future plans. Similarly, liquid pipeline network is no less important than the gas one. Although the existing liquid pipeline transmission system satisfies the needed demand, as it covers various areas in the country, yet there is a number of obstacles that would setback its potential capacity. That is what will be discussed in the following lines

Liquid pipelines include crude oil as well as multi-products such as diesel (gas oil), condensate, naphtha and fuel oil. These petroleum products are stored in tanks with a total capacity of approximately 1.9 million m3. According to recent figures, this system has 122 pump stations, mainly located in Cairo and Suez. Under the umbrella of liquid pipeline system lies other systems; storage facilities and delivery systems. The first one, storage facilities, is more commonly found in the governorates of Cairo and Alexandria. The delivery systems are considered as a large grid; they include pump stations, pipelines in addition to heating systems that are sometimes required to facilitate the heavy fuel oil transportation.
Egypt’s liquid pipeline transmission system is characterized by its significant amount of product transported, for instance, 52.5 million tons were transported throughout the period of July 2006 to June 2007, excluding the SUMED pipeline capacity.
As mentioned, several products are transmitted through this network. However, the largest pipeline network is that of oil products, with a capacity exceeding the 2000 km, followed by crude oil and condensate and then the LPG pipelines, many of which form part of the pipeline hub at Mostorod, where major refinery exists. This network infrastructure is owned by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), while the pipeline is operated by the Petroleum Pipelines Company (PPC).
Constraints and expansion plans
East of Cairo (from Sokhna to Badr City and south to Tebbin), Upper Egypt, El Max and El Tina regions are identified as the areas where potential significant pipeline flow capacity constraints lie and specific expansion plans are made for these areas. The first area of East Cairo and Badr City are categorized as growing industrial area, close to Mostorod hub for pipeline liquid transportation. Moreover, there are various products and LPG pipeline infrastructure that is already located near of Badr City, through which additional fuel oil and petroleum products can be supplied to the south of Egypt. having several users, a necessity to expand this area’s system is mandatory to relieve the flow capacity constraint; a pipeline from Sokhna to Badr City to be constructed, a 16 inch pipeline to connect Badr to the Nile area, in addition to an extra pump station and tank facilities to be located at Badr City.
The second area of constraints is found in Upper Egypt region. As an attempt to solve the limited capacity problem, Beni Suef and Assiut will be connected through a 16-inch pipeline, 250 km length, an in between the two areas, additional pump station will be constructed at El Minia.
Thirdly, having an increased demand for products and fuel oil between El Max and Damanhour represents the third area of constraint. Therefore, plans include the construction of 65-km long pipeline connecting the two areas and expansion of the liquid storage tank facilities.
Finally, special plans are set as well for El Tina region; studies are held to construct a fuel oil and multiproduct pipeline between Mostorod and El Tina.
It is worth mentioning that the above plans are not limited to the four areas discussed earlier. Additional strategies are made to ensure the development and expansion of storage in tank farms ad jetty infrastructure, such as expansions in the area of Sokhna Port (next to the SUMED Pipeline), project of a new LPG storage spheres at Ras Badr and another two projects to connect tankage to pipeline systems at Sokhna.
While implementing expansion plans, officials should not ignore the importance of safety, integrity and reliability of these liquid pipelines. In order to ensure the safe operations of this network, the PPC has its pipeline leakage surveys, patrols the pipelines and has in place preventative maintenance for internal corrosion. Besides, online inspection of pipelines is held on regular basis in order to monitor the pipelines conditions and ensure efficient operations.

To be continued…

By Yomna Bassiouni

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