Pipelife Norway's factory in Stathelle was responsible for the production and delivery of the order signed before Christmas in 2017. The pipes were produced in April 2018 and were then towed to Malaysia. They travelled down the west coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, and then across the Indian Ocean - it took a total of 190 days to complete the journey.
The 6 times 550-meter-long high-density PE-pipes, which are now onsite at a combined cylce powerplant, have an external diameter of 2.5 meters. They serve as cooling water intake for an approximately 400 MW powerplant extension and upgrade.
The 27,770-kilometer-tow to Malaysia is a new and solid record for pipe-towing. Pipelife Norway also held the previous record back in 2016 when the company conducted a similar delivery to Uruguay. That distance was, however, only about half the length of the tow to Malaysia.
The new record delivery to Malaysia has given Pipelife a lot of attention in engineering communities in Asia, and now, the contractor has taken the initiative in entering the tow into the Guinness Book of Records.
"It's is not our first world record, but it's very exciting that this tow could actually enter the famous Book," says Trygve Johan Blomster, Export Manager at Pipelife Norway.
Apart from serving power plants, Pipelife's LLLD Pipes have a long track record in a variety of offshore and near shore application fields such as desalination, water supply, wastewater and pipe protection (e.g. oil, electro). The pipes can be produced to a length of 600 meters – that is 220 meters longer than the Empire State Building is high.
"We have performed more than 150 international tows since 1995. We started in the 1960s with towing pipes in Scandinavia. England, South Africa and Northern Africa came next. In 1998, we crossed The Atlantic Ocean and made it to Brazil. The tow to Malaysia shows how Asia and the Middle East can benefit from our high-performance products," says Blomster. "Our clients have good reason to trust that their deliveries of this many kilometers of pipe arrive safely on the other side of the globe. Other suppliers may claim they can do it, but only we have actually done it this often and for such a long time." adds Ilija Radeljic, Technical Manager of the export department Pipelife Norway.
The Norwegian delivery is also a winner when it comes to installation and climate. The long pipe lengths reduce handling and welding considerably upon arrival. "The pipes float and require minimal engine power. It enables a towboat to transport a lot of pipes at once. By comparison, the pipe delivery to Malaysia would have taken 185 fully-loaded trucks with 18-meter-long pipes." says Radeljic. He adds: "Another major benefit of our long length HDPE pipes is the reduction in welding: LLLD pipes require less installation time, less costs and provide maximum safety when it comes to leak-tightness."