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Our new XXL Pipe Production Facility in the United States has been working on a truly gigantic project since its inauguration: pipeline lengths over 500 meters in OD up to 2.83 meters are being produced for the seawater intake of the cooling circuit of a calorific power plant.
The special feature of this project is not just the size of the pipes. For the first time, a fully pressure-resistant PE pipe with OD of more than 2.5 m is being towed on the sea, which is a world record. However, let's take a look at things in the right sequence:
Ing. Albert Lueghamer, Head of Application Technology and Senior Sales Manager at AGRU Kunststofftechnik in Austria, sold the largest volume of large-diameter pipes in AGRU history so far for a project in the Middle East. Due to the length of the pipes and the huge diameter of up to OD 3.25 m, this order was predestined to be manufactured in the brand new XXL Pipe Production Facility in the United States. The comprehensive know-how of the Austrian Plastics Experts was transferred to the local production team. For this reason, they managed to manufacture flawless large-diameter pipes.
A real challenge is the transport of the 0.5 kilometer long XXL pipes. Tugboats transport the up to 523-meter-long XXL pipes across the Atlantic and Indian Ocean to the Middle East. Over 25,000 kilometers of sea route must be handled with the delicate cargo in all weathers and waves. Several refueling stops, a sea route where pirates operate and a tow time of over 130 days are challenges that AGRU has never faced before.
In early December, the first tugboat arrived in South Africa to refuel. The pipes were also inspected to check for any damage after crossing the Atlantic. As it turned out, the special cargo was in top condition. In tow, the ship also has two "boats" made by AGRU, which emit radar beams and carry position lights, thus warning other ships about the length of the cargo.