Originally developed in the 1990s for the trenchless rehabilitation of high-pressure gas pipelines with high operating pressures, the Primus Line® system has grown over the years to be widely deployed across the world.
Now, the system has been used in multiple overland piping projects across Canada and Norway as a safe and reliable solution for temporary above ground water transfer.
The Primus Line® system is used by network operators all over the world for the reliable and sustainable no-dig repair of potable water mains, gas pipes and sewer rising mains, as well as to extend the life span of hydrocarbon pipelines.
The company prides itself to work not only as a material manufacturer, but also to be involved in the engineering and product application process together with its clients.
Considering regulatory aspects
In 2018, the hydraulic fracturing industry in Canada approached Primus Line to come up with a temporary solution for the above ground water supply for its processes. At the time, the regulator only permitted the use of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), steel or trucking of produced water, with other solutions not permitted since they are not considered safe.
Contrarily, the approved solutions are not necessarily the most economic as, with HDPE and steel, the deployment and demobilisation requires welding and cutting of individual pipe shots, creating a lengthy and costly process – in addition to the logistics for handling the pipes. Trucking of produced water also requires a significant amount of fuel, can damage road pavements and has a high labour cost.
By considering the regulatory aspects of the authorities to provide a safe and reliable system for the transfer of produced water, Primus Line was able to propose and develop a suitable solution. The company also looked at the technical and economic aspects faced by operators when dealing with the transfer of produced water, to ensure the solution would be efficient in all regards.
From this, the Primus Line Overland Piping system was born.
Overland piping system
The system is characterised by the supply of continuous liner length of several hundred metres, eliminating the welding procedures onsite and is reusable for multiple applications with an improved handling for the operator due to a new liner matrix.
Due to its quick deployment and mobilisation, in addition to its lightweight and high material strength that has been tested and proven to make it highly reliable, Primus Line says the system – which consists of a newly developed liner matrix, comprised of TPU inside and TPU outside coating as well as an aramid core – is a durable and cost-effective solution.
The inner TPU layer provides high chemical resistance that can even comply with aggressive hydrocarbon exposure conditions, while the black outer TPU cover eliminates UV degradation. Additionally, the aramid reinforcement provides the overland piping system with an extremely high strength enabling the liner to accommodate high operating pressures by itself.
Rigorous testing routine
Primus Line ensures the TPU inside and outside coating were subject to abrasion testing with a mix of sand, gravel and water at a mean grain size of 6 mm. After 600,000 cycles, the average abrasion was five times less than for standard HDPE pipes in a comparable test.
Abrasion resistance of the system’s outer layer is important when handling the materials since it is placed directly on the ground. The result of this liner matrix shows it is a highly flexible liner that can be applied for different terrains and traverse around multiple bends.
Additionally, the liner is currently available from DN 150 to DN 300 with operating pressures of 43 bar and 19 bar respectively. These operating pressures were determined following API 15s standard with a design life of 20 years.
Based on rigorous testing and field trials performed over a period of several months with ambient temperatures as low as -32°C, the Alberta Energy Regulator in British Colombia approved of the use of the Primus Line overland piping system.
In addition to the Canadian hydraulic fracturing industry where the new system has now been used in multiple projects, Primus Line says it also sees requests from different industries where temporary, safe and reliable water transfer is required.
Typical areas of application can also be found in the municipal sector where over-pumping of sewerage might be needed, such as during pipe renovation. Additionally, the mining industry also requires significant amount of water for their process.
Although the CAPEX for Primus Line overland piping system is higher than for traditional HDPE, the OPEX is reduced significantly resulting in a solid business case for operators.
This article was featured in the Summer 2020 edition of Trenchless International. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.
For more information visit the Primus Line website.
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