PE pipeline for storage stage at Kesselesee

Sandbedfree installation in alpine terrain of the pipeline


Project name: Piping system lake Kesselesee
Project date: June - September 2010
Old Pipeline: Steel (430 m), DN 450 mm
New Pipeline: HDPE 100-RC, OD 500 mm SDR 17, PE 100-RC pipes, PE 100-RC sweep bends, PE 100 e-couplers

Electrofusion welding
four Sweep Bends
Sandbedfree installation with helicopter
Before and after comparison

In 1958 the Kessele pipeline was built as an alpine stream diversion for the storage stage Reißeck. At this time a steel pipeline (DN 450 mm) was installed at 2 395 metres above mean sea level, leading from the Kesselesee’s mount to the confluence of the Hochalmsee’s hillside pipeline at 2 320 metres above mean sea level.

The pipeline had been in operation for 52 years. Due to heavy corrosion and incrustations repeated repair work became inevitable. In 2010 it was decided to set up a replacement for the entire steel pipeline.


The scope of the project contained the following challenges

The new pipeline had to be suitable for an operating pressure of 10 bars.

So the pipes were transported by helicopter and the only possible means of transport due (alpine terrain). In order to reduce the total number of flights the pipe material had to be very light (increase the number of pipes per flight).

It was also planned to use the excavated material to cover the newly installed pipeline. Therefore the new pipe had to be suitable for a sandbedfree installation and insensitive to the rough environment.

All those requirements are fulfilled by PE 100-RC. The entire pipeline including some changes in direction/ground level were installed using pipes and sweep bends made of PE 100-RC.

Due to the exposed location the electrofusion welding was preferred to butt welding. When selecting the connection technology the low weight, the compactness and the flexible use of the e-welding device in pathless terrain was crucial. The electrofusion coupler made of PE 100 was wrapped into geotextile before filling the trench in order to protect them from possible point loads.

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