Company to exhibit highly resilient pipe at Copperbelt expo

Two trading arms of complete pipeline solutions provider Rare, Rare Plastics and Rare Pipeline Services (which incorporates Rare Construction Zambia), will exhibit at this year’s Copperbelt Mining Trade Expo and Conference (CBM-TEC) from May 12 to 13.

Rare will be showcasing its Rare Plastics co-extruded pipe (RPC), developed particularly to handle the harsh conditions of trenchless technologies. The three-layer co-extruded water and sewer RPC pipe was developed in conjunction with Rare’s technology partner, chemicals and plastics solutions provider Borealis.

The RPC is produced specifically for alternative installation techniques. Trenchless technology and unselected embedment construction methods demand a pipe capable of being installed where any damage caused by aggressive conditions will not result in the failure of the pipe. The RPC is designed with outer and inner layers of advanced PE100-RC polymer and a PE100 core. PE100-RC is a specifically developed advanced polymer that resists the effects of notches, scores, scratches, grooves and point loads that may result from trenchless installation or installation without selected or imported bedding and embedding material.

“This polymer technology has high resistance to slow crack propagation and point loads, compared with standard PE100,” explains Rare Plastics GM Tony Dean. The three layers of the pipe are fused together during manufacture and are inseparably extruded.

Meanwhile, Rare has completed a contract to supply the first of two phases of a new slurry pipeline at Konkola Copper Mines’ (KCM’s) Muntimpa tailings storage facility near Chingola, in Zambia. The pipeline forms an expansion of existing infrastructure to allow the mine to handle larger volumes of slurry. It will also be used as a backup system for possible pump failures, says Rare pipeline services manager Carl Von Graszouw.

The first phase of the project was completed in March 2015 and Phase 2 is scheduled for completion this year. This will see the installation of the last of three slurry pipelines measuring 25 km and operating at 20 bar pressure that has been installed by Rare for KCM.

The project comprises the supply and installation of 3 175 m of 610 mm nominal bore steel pipe, lined with 624 mm of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) standard dimension ratio 36 plastic liners, as well as the supply of 108 flanges. It also includes civil engineering work, bush clearing and commissioning. Rare was also given the job of reclaiming 3 200 m of an existing old spool line that needed to be removed during the project to accommodate the new pipeline.

“Rare’s plastic lining technology is used to pull HDPE liners, which are welded in a continuous string of up to 600 m, into the steel host pipe. The HDPE liner’s outside diameter is larger than the host pipe’s inside diameter. Once the liner is pulled through a reducing die and the tension is released, the HDPE pipe will revert and form an interference fit inside the host pipe,” says Von Graszouw.

This is the fifth project of its kind that Rare has undertaken for KCM and the third Muntimpa line installed by Rare. “Rare understands the challenges of projects of this kind. Owing to the speed of installation and the integrity of the constructed system, the use of its plastic lining technology results in a significant reduction of the impact of the project on the community and the environment,” highlights Von Graszouw. He adds that the pipeline follows a route through community areas and across mining property, therefore, the reliability and lifetime integrity of the system are high priorities. All work is executed while working in a close relationship with the local environmental agency in Zambia, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency

. “Although Rare Plastics was only founded in January 2014, in this short time we have established ourselves as a leading manufacturer of HDPE pipe in . . . the Southern African Development Community. We have vast experience in the management and technical field and are able to collaborate with customers to provide them with solutions leading to mutual benefit for both parties,” concludes Dean.

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