Kenya Water Treatment Plant – Brine Discharge Pipeline
The Kenya Water Treatment Plant is located outside of Chinchilla in Queensland and treats by-product water from coal seam gas operations. Following the reverse osmosis (RO) process, reject is further concentrated in brine concentrators.
High temperature brine is discharged from the brine concentrators and is transferred via a pipeline to a storage pond. Various performance issues were related to the original design due to the elevated temperatures and corrosivity of the fluid.
EPES were engaged to design a replacement brine discharge pipeline to address the performance issues being experienced with the line. The objective of the design process was to ensure performance of the pipeline during discharge of elevated temperature brine discharge to the storage pond without impacting operation of the water treatment plant. Our scope included:
Location: 35km from Chinchilla, Queensland, Australia
Client: Laing O’Rourke
Engagement: Design Consultant
Sectors: Industrial, Oil and Gas, Water and Waste Water
Services: Construction and Design Consulting, Digital Engineering, Independent Reviews and Audits, Piping Engineering, Specialist Analysis, Water and Waste Water
Several technical challenges exist with high temperature fluids in pipelines, particularly fluids with high chloride concentrations such as brine discharge. Non-metallic materials are typically unsuitable and metallic materials need to be carefully considered with respect to corrosion and durability of materials.
Pipeline leakage or rupture is not acceptable recognising the environmental risks.
Analysis and Implementation
Pipelines subject to elevated temperatures are designed in accordance with pressure piping standards to account for thermal expansion (temperature difference between non-operating and operating cases) as well as other static and dynamic load cases.
Once design loads cases are defined, the pipeline is subject to pipe stress analysis to ascertain both compliance of the pipeline allowable stresses, and primary support loadings to be used in the structural design of the secondary support system.
Typical design considerations including liaison with stakeholders, safety in design, risk assessment and constructability reviews were incorporated into the design process.
The outcome for the project was a pipeline suitable for the intended duty offering users a robust and reliable transfer pipeline for delivery of concentrated brine to the storage pond. With careful consideration of the design requirements, durability issues, performance requirements and constructability, the pipeline offered a low impact construction with a superior outcome for the project.
Taking the time to properly understand the technical and construction constraints ensures that the project can be delivered within the stakeholder expectations in a reliable, practical and robust way.
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