Aegion South Africa searches for solution to ageing pipelines

To combat the increasing problem of ageing pipeline infrastructure in Africa, Aegion South Africa has been developing a range of technologically advanced solutions.

When faced with a potential for rapid failure of infrastructure due to the transportation of corrosive or abrasive slurry materials in the oil, gas, mining, industrial and municipal markets, Aegion South Africa General Manager Johann Scholtz said the company began to zero in some key ideas to resolve the problem.

“Aegion South Africa is focused on two areas. First, cured-in-place pipe lining, which is used to rehabilitate existing pipelines in a variety of different sectors including industrial, mining, power generation and the petrochemical sector,” he said.

“The second focus is on hydro-transportation, which involves the transportation of solids in a liquid carrier stream.”

Hydro-transportation has become a widely used and important method in the pipeline industry across the globe, particularly with an increasing focus on environmental conservation.

The method sees solids carried through a closed pipe, thereby eliminating environmental concerns such as dust, spillage and noise.

Furthermore, the process is proving to be more cost effective than bulk transportation systems such as conveyor belts, long haul road and rail transportation due to a comparative decrease in maintenance requirements.

With complete replacement of pipelines an extremely costly and time-consuming process, Aegion South Africa subsidiary United Pipeline Systems has also developed an in-situ polyethylene pipe lining system for the rehabilitation of existing pipelines.

The specialised wear-resistant polymer provides excellent flow characteristics that can restore and, in some cases, even improve the overall system performance.

The solution has been demonstrated to be a noticeable improvement compared to replacement options, particularly for pipelines that are in poor condition.

Aegion South Africa taps into supplier and manufacturer Robor for access to steel pipe that is well suited for use in hydro transportation, such as the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lined steel polypipe system.

This pipe contains the inherent strength of steel with the visco-elastic properties of HDPE to deliver high pressure capability, structural integrity mechanical damage resistance and chemical and abrasion resistance.

With the pipeline and mining industries an ever-evolving technological sector, Mr Scholtz said Aegion South Africa would continue to provide appropriate solutions.

“Africa is the world’s last relatively unexplored mining frontier. We look forward to providing Aegion South Africa’s advanced and cost-effective hydro-transportation solutions to both new and existing mining operations,” he said.

For more information visit the Aegion website

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