Iplex moves to expand its Toowoomba polyethylene pipe production capacity

Iplex General Manager Marketing and Infrastructure Kevin Kellow explained the increased polyethylene (PE) production capacity.

“When we first proposed the Toowoomba factory, the largest pipe size being designed in CSG upstream gathering was only 315 mm.

We took a punt at the time and elected to install lines capable of producing 630-800 mm product.

“That decision proved to be wise as our clients soon recognised the benefit of installing fewer-larger pipes,” he said.

“We believe the time is now right to invest in larger equipment to service the future needs of the CSG industry.”

Iplex is currently the only Australian producer of PE pipe of sizes up to 2,000 mm, with production facilities for 2 m pipe located in Perth and Albury.

Only a few years ago, one third of the world’s 2 m PE pipe extrusion capacity was located in Australia.

This fact proved fortuitous for Victoria in June 2012, when Morwell River flooding entered the Yallourn open-cut coal mine and crippled the adjoining power station, which supplied 22 per cent of the state’s electricity.

An emergency rescue plan was executed to divert the flow of the Morwell River for 3.5 km to permit dewatering of the mine.

“Because of the urgency, on this occasion we used Qenos’ HDF145B resin and the combined capacity of Perth and Albury polyethylene factories to produce DN1600 pipe that was trucked to site and welded into 120 m long strings by Gem Industrial Services,” said Mr Kellow.

“The welded strings were then towed into position and tied-in. It was a world class example of co-operation between pipeline owner, constructor, pipe extruder and resin producer.”

In addition to Perth, Albury and Toowoomba factories, Iplex’s PE pipe production footprint includes a large plant in Townsville.

Iplex Pipelines is a sponsor and exhibitor at the APIA 2014 Melbourne convention and is looking forward to meeting many of its past and present clients on Stand 9-10.

For more information visit www.iplex.com.au.

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