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The Swakop Mile 6 FLOWTITE™ pipeline provides water for growing demand of Mining Industry

With the higher price of uranium, the uranium deposits of the Erongo region have become economically viable to mine. The existing mine at Rössing is expanding and mines such as Langer Heinrich, Trekkopje, Husab and Valencia are in the process of being established with many more to come. In the past most of the water for these mines came from the alluvial aquifers in the Kuseb and Omarura rivers.

As a result of the expansion of mining activity in the Erongo area, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are rapidly expanding and future mines will bring a growing demand for water, making the new Mile 6 pipeline a viable solution.

Due to its non-corrosive properties FLOWTITE™ Glass reinforced polyester is the pipe of choice  in the corrosive soils surrounding Walvisbay and Swakopmund and in the use of seawater. The Trekkopje desalination plant near Wlotzkasbaken was built in 2008 and FLOWTITE™ pipes (1165m of DN1200 and 1165m of DN1000) were also used to convey sea water to the Trekkopje desalination plant. Namwater is also planning a desalination plant North of Swakopmund.

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The Swakop Mile 6 FLOWTITE™ pipeline will be installed near to the reservoir in Swakopmund and consist of 4000m of DN1200 / PN16 / SN5000. This project follows the successful installation of FLOWTITE™ 17000m of DN600 with a pressure between 16bar and 25 bar on the Swakop South project for Namwater during 2015.

Namwater decided to use FLOWTITE™ pipes below ground, as the pipes will not corrode as a result of the aggressive soil conditions which is close to the sea, as a matter of fact no natural condition in any soil will attack the FLOWTITE™ pipe. This made it the ideal choice, as well as the fact that for the next 50 years the pipes will not require any maintenance and if correctly installed may even last much longer. In addition the internal smooth bore of the FLOWTITE™ pipe will not change significantly over the next 50 years with the result that thousands of Namibian dollars will be saved in pumping costs, as we all know electricity will increase drastically in future.

The biggest challenge on this project was to open the trench as the sand is only 300mm to 600mm deep, before bed rock is reached. The contractor had to blast through the rocks, the pipes were then installed on a bedding of 150mm; which is the same as for all other pipe materials.

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The existing Omdel-Swakopmund GRP pipeline is being replaced and a section will be the new FLOWTITE™ DN1200, PN16, SN5000, spanning from Wlotkasbaken to Swakopmund base. Both the Omdel line and the pipeline from the Wlotzkasbaken desalination plant are connected to the new FLOWTITE™ pipeline at an off take building located at Wlotzkasbaken. The water for Swakop Mile 6 comes from two sources; Omdel dam, close to Henties bay, and the Wlotzkasbaken desalination plant. The potable water will then be transferred to Swakopmund base where it will be stored in two 20 000m³ reservoirs.

In February 2015 The Swakop Mile 6 project was started and is estimated to be complete by January 2016. The FLOWTITE™ pipes were pressure tested during December 2015 and only one coupling leaked in the entirety of the pipeline. The same contractor was working on the Swakop South project, where 17000km of pipe with about 1400 couplings were tested with no leaking couplings at all. Some of the key characteristics that made FLOWTITE™ the pipe of choice for NamWater is the Corrosion-resistance of the pipes, that meant that they could be installed in these soil conditions with no need for additional corrosion protection which eliminates maintenance costs. Secondly the light weight of the FLOWTITE™ pipes greatly reduced the need for expensive pipe handling equipment.

In ConclusionFLOWTITE™ is the superior product for use in difficult soil conditions and corrosive environments.

1039 Fiberpipe GRP Water Pipes S13
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