13.5km of Aliaxis GPS PE Blue installed for pipeline renewal programme

The latest phase of work on the renewal of a large diameter water main feeding homes and businesses on the edge of the Cotswolds is progressing well, with Aliaxis’ GPS PE Blue, large diameter pipeline solution being installed by one of the water industry’s largest framework contractors.

By the end of next year, Kier Infrastructure is expected to have installed a total of 13.5km of Aliaxis’ high performance potable polyethylene pipe in a project that had its origins back in 2016, and is upgrading the connection from a pumping station to a major reservoir serving multiple communities.

The work is being undertaken due to unexpected long-term problems with the existing glass-reinforced pipes (GRP), which had tended to rupture.  Falling under an ‘Infrastructure Capital Delivery Framework’, the works will serve to reduce leaks and improve reliability of supply, in line with Government targets for the water industry.

Recognised under a number of the water company’s framework agreements, Aliaxis UK was involved in some of the initial appraisal and design work as far back as 2014, before Kier Infrastructure opted to install its GPS PE Blue pipe on the project.

Within the early design work, it was necessary to consider issues like localised ground contamination and obstructions; then connections at various points onto an existing 700mm diameter main which is being retained.

Andy Muncer, Project Director at Kier, commented:

“The strategic importance of this design and build pipeline classifies it as a high consequence scheme requiring enhanced levels of quality assurance. Pipe quality and a rigidly controlled butt-fusion welding process are key factors in achieving this, and this has been realised through a collaborative approach between Kier, our client and our key suppliers. The project also includes six no dig tunnelled sections to mitigate stakeholder and environmental impacts.

“Aliaxis is a framework provider for PE material, but not for this large pipe diameter. However, whilst we did have some flexibility to go to other manufacturers and also considered a steel pipe alternative, we selected the GPS PE Blue as a proven and economic solution. There is an agreed call off schedule for which Aliaxis is storing pipe at an airfield and is well ahead on its production. Work is progressing very well on site, however the offsite storage allowed Aliaxis to secure available raw materials and commence production early, and for a controlled delivery schedule to be managed with space on site limited.”

Nigel Gascoyne, Key Account Manager at Aliaxis UK, added:

“Our 1200mm PE100 pipe is replacing a GRP pipe, which was originally installed in the late 90’s /early 2000’s and has consistently failed. The design of this pipeline started around eight years ago where we helped with a number of technical support meetings, offering advice on the installation and benefits of PE100.

“It was decided to lay the majority of this replacement pipeline in PE due to its flexibility and speed of installation. Not only did Aliaxis UK have the Framework Agreement in place, we’re also the only company in the UK that can produce PE100 pipe to 1200mm sizes.”

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