Oaky Creek Raw Water Pipeline

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Project Type: Distribution Pipeline
Owner: Glencore
Engineer: Glencore
Contractor: PCR Polyweld
Pipe Material:
  • HDPE
Pipe Size: 16"/ DN400
Location: Tieri, Queensland, Australia
  • Accommodate for Thermal Movement
  • Compressed Construction Schedule
  • Ease of Installation
  • Reliability

The Oaky Creek raw water pipeline is an 8 km (5 miles) long pipeline consisting of 400mm (16’’) PN12.5 and PN10 HDPE piping. A critical line for the successful and safe operations of the mine, the raw water pipeline transports process water from the mine site catchment areas to the reverse osmosis plant. Leaks or failures of the pipeline could create a critical situation where a shut-down of mine operations could occur. Therefore, joint integrity was a paramount concern.

Due to the harsh environment of the region (reaching temperatures over 50°C/120°F), previously installed HDPE pipelines had experienced ongoing failures. With a goal of ongoing improvement, Oaky Creek sought a solution that would deliver high-quality joints to mitigate the risk of failure in extreme weather conditions.

Oaky Creek in turn chose to partner with Victaulic. Style 908 couplings provided a mechanical joint designed and tested to withstand the required end-loads and thermal movement of the system. Pipes were prefabricated and grooved off-site, allowing for QA procedures to be completed on every pipe. The system has been installed and commissioned with a 100% joint success rate and zero leaks reported.

The proven value of reduced installation time of the mechanical joint was evident on site. The crew was able to completely install each Style 908 coupling in just 10 minutes, resulting in a time savings of 55% and reducing days required from 80 days for fusing down to just 35 days for coupling installation. The pipeline became functional 45 days earlier than expected, allowing the site to begin pumping water immediately.