Mocke Pipeline Construction is an experienced pipeline construction and engineering company that provides customised turnkey solutions, covering a wide spectrum of civil, mechanical, rehabilitation, and services principles for the installation of on-shore and off-shore pipelines. The company Fraser Alexander, in conjunction with the client, DRDGold SA, approached Mocke Pipeline Construction to intervene in an immense project involving the lining of a 500mm diameter pipe, 50km long in 12 months, for the purpose of pumping gold slurries, and in January 2011, they commenced work on site.
This complex project involved the lining of a newly erected steel pipeline from the Ergo plant outside Springs to Crown, passing through Johannesburg suburbia. The aim of the project centred around sending the gold slurry material from several reclamation dumps in the Johannesburg area along the newly constructed pipeline to the Ergo plant which is one of the largest recovery plants in the country. From there, it is pumped to the Brakpan tailing dam where it is discharged. As a result, several reclamation mine dumps in the Witwatersrand area shall be diminished in the next few years.
Working alongside Mocke Construction as a supplier and trusted advisor was Marley Pipe Systems, the leading supplier to the building as well as the mining, industrial, civil, and irrigation sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. The successful completion of such a wide-ranging project depended on Sureline™ Technology, a cost-effective and durable polyethylene (HDPE) internal lining process that folds the fully dimensional liner pipe into a C-shape by using a tucking device on site which enables the liner pipe to be pulled through the steel pipe in lengths of up to 2km per piece and sizes up to 1200mm in diameter. After the lining is pulled through, the liner is reformed to its original shape with air, forming a tight-fit liner to match the internal diameter of the host pipeline.
This technology represents a valuable change to the face of pumping slurries and rehabilitating of slurry pipelines in the mining industry.
Due to the abrasive nature of slurries, a typical steel pipe would last merely weeks; however, by introducing a Marley HDPE liner, as per the Sureline™ process, the system is able to last in excess of 34 years. Sureline™ is surpassing the preferred lining solutions of the past, as it is the fastest and most cost-effective lining solution available in the world today. Sureline™ saves up to 50% on replacement costs of existing old pipelines and saves up to 90% on eliminating flanges on newly constructed pipelines.
Integral to the Sureline™ technology process was the constant supply of quality Marley HDPE liner pipes which added superior value with their highly abrasive and corrosion resistant properties. In total, the amount of pipe supplied by Marley was valued at over R23 million, which equated to 154 truckloads of material delivered in 10 months. This is proof of the immensity of a project that was being implemented for the first time on South African soil.
Despite the complex and unfamiliar nature of the project, “Marley provided daily interactive on-site support and were practical and realistic about any challenges that we
encountered”, says Hein Mocke. Hein was greatly impressed by the willingness of the Marley representatives to understand the new technology from both their perspective as well as Mocke’s, and although an American representative was available to demonstrate best practice for installation, they were still faced with difficulties associated with the harsh African conditions which are not encountered in America. However, both Mocke and Marley together were able to solve these technicalities.
The project was completed on 30 October 2011 and according to Hein, Marley went beyond expectations to assist with the project in any way they could, positively affecting the successful outcome. “Together the two companies have succeeded in completing this massive project in a record time of 10 months, two months ahead of schedule.”