Ease of installation is key,
New Zealand

Ease of installation is key

Weholite pipes are light and easy to install. They really come into their own in a project in the harbour of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand – the extension of an old stormwater line using massivepipes with an internal diameter of 3–3.5 metres. In this busy harbour area, it is not possible to carry outlarge-scale excavation work. The soil of the region and strong tides pose their own challenges.

Auckland, New Zealand
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At the end of September, the cargo ship TS Delta arrived in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, carrying massive Weholite pipes with a diameter of 3–3.5 metres. The pipes were transported from Thailand for use in a project to extend the old stormwater line of the Auckland Wynyard Wharf terminal further from the harbour. “In March 2021, Auckland will host the America’s Cup, a major sailing event. A pipe that discharges the city’s stormwater into the sea is located in the event area. The discharge site is now being moved half a kilometre further away,” says Ulf Berg, Export Manager at Uponor Infra Project Services. At the same time, the harbour area is being spruced up for the event. For instance, old oil tanks will be demolished and the area will be asphalted.

Easy installation is particularly important in demanding projects

Auckland has the country’s largest cargo harbour. It is quite a challenging site for installation works. “The harbour area is busy. This means that it’s not possible to set aside a large area for the installation work or to dig a long excavation. For this reason, the line will be built in short segments with 15-metre pipe sections.” “Furthermore, there’s no space to weld pipes on site. The pipes will be lowered into the trench and connected with concrete weights, after which the pipe profiles will be filled with water.” Strong tides in the area pose an additional challenge. “The work must be done at low tide. At high tide, the water rises almost to the edges of the excavation.” The soil in this area is also challenging – many support structures have to be built in the excavation while work is ongoing. Berg says that the easy installation of Weholite gives a significant advantage in demanding projects. “Although the pipes are massive in size, they are light and easy to handle. It would be very difficult to install concrete, glass fibre or  steel pipes in this project, due to the soil conditions and time limitations.”

Support during the entire installation

The Weholite pipes were produced by Uponor Infra’s licensed manufacturer in Thailand, which has supplied Weholite pipes to many
other projects in its home market and countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. “An expert from Uponor’s Vaasa factory was on hand to ensure that they were produced exactly to specifications. In the case of pipes of this size, you have to be very careful about the dimensions, weights, tolerances and ring stiffness.” Uponor is supplying the pipe materials for the project, including special parts and reducers, complete with installation drawings and instructions. The company also provides support during the entirety of the installation work. “Everything has gone well. The ship stopped for cargo in Australia and New Guinea so the
trip took a little bit longer than expected. However, the project will be completed on schedule.”

Weholite has plenty of applications – around the world

Berg says that Weholite has many attractive applications in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. “Many power plants are currently being built in the developing countries of Asia. Weholite is highly suitable for use as water intake and discharge pipelines at power plants, chemical refineries, treatment plants, etc.” “Weholite pipes and tanks are also excellently suited for desalination plants that produce drinking water from seawater. There are many desalination plants in this region.”

A global network ensures smooth deliveries

In addition to its own plants in Europe, Uponor Infra has licensed manufacturers in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. “Thanks to our extensive partner network, we can easily deliver anywhere in the world,” says Berg. “We provide end-to-end service for our customers’ projects – we design, we supply the materials and if necessary we also handle installation. For instance, the installation of pipes on the seabed requires specialist expertise and equipment.”

Ease of installation is key

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