BorSafe™ pipe solution delivers time and cost savings for challenging installations

Aug 23, 2010

Pipes based on BorSafe™ HE3490-LS-H from Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, have ensured the fast and efficient installation of a new fire main at an industrial chemical complex in Finland. Savings of up to 50% in time and 40% in installation costs were achieved compared to traditional steel piping.

The new fire main at Borealis' production site in Porvoo, Finland serves a fire fighting water curtain and sprinklers at a new loading station for highly flammable liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and butadiene. To ensure total operating reliability at all times, engineering company Neste Jacobs Oy required a water pipe system capable of offering a long working life despite the exceptionally tough physical conditions at Porvoo.

Key challenges for a fast and economical turnaround included highly rocky terrain and a busy railway line under which part of the pipeline would run. Rail services could not be disrupted by the installation project, meaning no-dig directional drilling was required to lay the pipe system. The excessive ground vibrations caused by heavy rail-yard traffic and completion of the project during the harsh winter months of November to February, where temperatures fall as low as -15°C, placed further demands on the chosen pipe’s performance both during installation and over the long-term.

Neste Jacobs, the project installer Destia, and pipe manufacturer KWH Pipe evaluated BorSafe HE3490-LS-H as the most viable alternative to traditional steel in meeting the tough demands of this project.

BorSafe HE3490-LS-H is a latest generation high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe material. The PE100-RC material, classified as MRS 10.0, was developed specifically to complement faster, more economical pipe-laying techniques in tough conditions with high environmental stress.

A product of the advanced performance and processing benefits created by Borealis’ bimodal Borstar® process, BorSafe HE3490-LS-H offers low notch sensitivity and superior resistance to point loading and slow crack growth (SGC). The RC (resistance to crack) material avoids the potential for pipe tears even when point loads caused by rocks occur. Non-corrodible by chemicals, this adds to the outstanding durability that enables BorSafe HE3490-LS-H-based pipes to deliver a service life in excess of 100 years.

Its consistent toughness and high quality makes BorSafe HE3490-LS-H particularly suitable for pipes subject to the aggressive conditions associated with modern, trenchless laying techniques. The lack of soft, sandy bedding in directional drilling, pipe bursting and ploughing-in techniques makes robust pipe material a definite requirement.

At Porvoo, the pipes were laid at a depth of 2 metres to avoid potential climatic damage. Thanks to the robust profile of the BorSafe HE3490-LS-H based pipes some of the rough excavated rocky soil could be used as trench backfilling. This reduced the amount of excavated material to be removed from the site and the volume of finer material to be brought on-site for pipe bedding, thus reducing time, cost, and environmental impact.

"Using PE provided a major reduction in installation time compared with traditional steel piping," comments Ville Lilja, Borealis Project Manager. "It allowed the pipes to be joined by butt fusion welding which offers a 50 % time saving on steel welds, as well as a 40 % cost saving," adds Jarmo Aho, NesteJacobs Construction Manager.

Borealis AG
Wagramerstrasse 17-19
1220 Vienna, Austria
PH.: +43-1-22400-0

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