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Unique Group’s On-Site Engineering division successfully completes 48” hot tap on drinking water pipeline

Unique Group’s On-Site Engineering division, through its brand Wellube, has recently completed a significant hot tapping project for a Government water line distributor.

As part of its expansion process, and to increase the supply of water into several regions, the water line distributor was required to take two new connections from the existing 48” ductile iron pipelines. However, any shutdown to facilitate a new connection wasn’t ideal as this would affect the supply of drinking water to the city for a considerable period of time. Unique Group’s On-Site Engineering division was commissioned to provide a solution without shutdown or depressurisation of the lines.

As the pipeline material in this project was ductile iron, welding of a hot tap tee wasn’t feasible. Hence, a Mechanical Bolt-On hot tap tee of size 48”X48” and rated to 20bar design pressure was designed and manufactured. The manufacture was completed in 3 weeks’ time while the fitting, along with manpower and equipment, was mobilised to the site by the division.

Being drinking water lines, all the equipment that is to be in contact with the line medium was painted with food grade paint and was sterilised prior to installation. Both the hot tap tees were installed and pressure tested in 2 days. Subsequently the 48” valves were also installed and pressure tested. The duration for each 48” hot tap was around eight hours and the site was handed back for connecting to the newly laid lines.

Sahil Gandhi, Executive Director of the On-Site Engineering division commented, "We’re pleased to have successfully completed this project. Hot tapping is one of our division’s prominent services which involves the making of a tie-in connection to existing piping or vessels without major interruption or depressurisation to that section of pipe or vessel. The process has been successfully employed by our team in most pipeline materials and is suitable for a wide range of mediums from hydrocarbons through to chemicals.”

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