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Setting sail for cleaner waters

Kartoszyno. A flotilla of large plastic pipes has recently been towed by tug from a fjord in the South of Norway to a Polish coastal village. Once connected and submerged to form a sewer outfall in the Baltic Sea, it will be the most cost effective and durable solution for improving seawater quality in this Polish region of natural beauty.

Reaching 2.3 kilometres from shore, this pipeline will safely disperse water from a large wastewater treatment plant in Debogórze. Michal Mierzejewski, Marketing Manager for Pipelife Polska explains: “Only four connections were required for our large diameter PE100 pipe before it was lowered eight metres deep to the seabed.”

“Ordered by the Gdynia Water Company, the pipes are part of a larger EUR 69 million water development project in the Reda and Chylonia Valley. Our customers decided to use plastic instead of steel pipes since the latter sections are usually short and would have required fifty times more connections. This means that we completed our plastic pipe installation in two days instead of three months!”

“The pipes were made on a continuous basis at our Norwegian factory in Stathelle and floated directly onto the narrow fjord there. End flange connections with towing heads were then connected before the tug set sail.”           

“This convoy was really an impressive sight. Special lights were fitted throughout the convoy to warn marine shipping of its unusual cargo. It took only four days for the pipes to complete their voyage from Norway – sailing through the Kattegat to their Polish port of destination on the Baltic Sea.” 

The manifest comprised four PE100 pipes with a diameter of 1300 mm. Three of these sections measured 620 metres and a fourth was 608 metres. Other pipe sizes were also floated to enable the eventual construction of a 135 metre diffuser. These included:
  • 50 m of PE100 pipe in ø1300 mm
  • 45 m of PE80 pipe in ø900 mm
  • 22.5 m of PE80 pipe in ø710 mm
  • 22.5 m of PE80 pipe in ø630 mm

Track record

A significant amount of EU Funds has been earmarked for part of the complete water improvement program in the region. Contractor for the Pipelife pipeline was the firm of PERCIP from Gdansk.

“Technology, performance and price were key factors in winning this order, says Mierzejewski. “Plastic pipe technology has been championed in Poland since the early sixties. Our track record includes a smaller diameter outfall that we supplied to the city of Szczecin during the nineties. Nevertheless, this latest collector is vital for enhancing seawater quality particularly in the area of Pucka Bay that attracts many thousands of tourists to its beaches every year.”

“We are delighted with the close collaboration that we have enjoyed with our Norwegian colleagues on this project. What goes around comes around! Our pipes and the knowledge that we share throughout Pipelife are good examples.”    

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