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Record Export Sales for PE Pipes in Norway

Surnadal. Pipelife Norway expects to book record sales from the export of large diameter PE pipes this year. Norwegian export activities started almost forty years ago and today, PE pipes are in demand for a variety of projects from all over the world.

Trygve Blomster, export manager for the firm, is confident that this trend will continue: “Given our sales order book for the first three quarters of this year and the extent of our enquiries and close relationships with major contractors, we can expect this sales growth to persist well into next year.”

The Norwegian factory has a rather special way of delivering large diameter PE pipes. These pipes are mainly used for water and sewer systems and delivered by container. However, the Norwegian factory is based on a fjord and that means that continuous lengths of 500 to 600 metres are normally extruded directly into the fjord and transported by tugboat to their eventual marine destination.

Pipelife Norway started producing large diameter 1,600 mm PE pipes in 1973 and then followed up in 2004 to make the unique 2,000 mm versions. Blomster quotes four orders won this year as being typical of the kind of projects supplied:

Diplomatic cooling water system in Bahrain
The year started with an interesting order for a cooling water pipe system in Manama (Bahrain) in the Arabian Gulf. The project was for the District Cooling Service for the diplomatic area and was the very first order received from Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali Co. B.S.E from Bahrain. Pipes were already delivered to this leading firm of contractors in spring and pipe welding will be completed within the next few months.

The Bahrain contract involved 684 metres of the 1,600mm diameter (76.2 mm SDR21) and 1,500 metres of the 1,400mm diameter (53.5 mm SDR26) pipes. An important quantity of fittings brings the total order value to almost EUR 2 million. “We opted for a welding solution in Bahrain since the cost of transporting continuous lengths of pipe through the Suez Canal would have been extremely expensive!” says Blomster.

Desalination plant in India
Large diameter PE pipes are increasingly used for the water intake and brine outfall of desalination plants. These projects often have a truly international character and a recent order awarded for such a plant in Chennai, India, is no exception.

Expert desalination contractors for the plant in India were BEFESA from Spain and direct customers were EDT Marine Construction Ltd from Limassol, Cyprus. The supply contract involved a total of 1,700 metres of 1,600mm diameter (57.2 mm SDR28) PE pipe. Pipe production and delivery are running completely to schedule and welding is expected to start shortly.

Largest land-based fish farm in the world
Land-based fish farms need to provide fish stocks with a continuous flow of seawater. More often than not, this water is pumped through large diameter PE pipes – made by Pipelife. Now the company has received the order to supply large diameter 2,000 mm pipes to what will eventually be the largest land-based fish farm in the world!

The new giant fish farm will be in Mira, Northern Portugal. It is the most recent expansion project for Pescanova, the Spanish fish farm group. “Acuinova, the Portuguese subsidiary of Pescanova, was so pleased with Pipelife performance in their previous project that they decided to continue the cooperation with Pipelife in this new project as well.” explains Blomster.

Four parallel intakes, each approximately 1,327 metres long will draw seawater from the Atlantic Ocean in Mira, (near Aveiro). The order for Pipelife thus comprises a total of 5,300 metres of large diameter 2,000 mm (76.9 mm SDR26) pipe and accessories for the new plant. This contract valued at over EUR 6.8 million is the second largest single contract in the history of Pipelife Norway’s PE project business. The pipes will be floated to their destination in two phases over the next four months.

Water-cooling for power plant in Ireland
ESB, the Irish Utility Company, has ordered the construction of a new power plant in Cork. Alsthom will build the power plant and 2,000 mm diameter pipes for the cooling water outfall will be provided by Pipelife. The company often works with marine engineering companies and in this instance, the marine works were awarded to Van Oord (Ireland) Ltd, the Irish subsidiary company of the well known Dutch Van Oord Group based in Rotterdam.

Blomster says that the company will supply Van Oord with 437 metres of the pipe (SDR33) in one single length including accessories. Delivery is due this autumn.

More information on interesting export activities can be found on