Articles & Case Studies

BorSafe™ HE3490-LS delivers longevity to Estonian

Posted: Thursday 1st March 2012

Durability and efficiency were the determining factors behind the choice of

PE100 BorSafe™ HE3490-LS from Borealis, a leading provider of

chemical and innovative plastics solutions, for renovation of a crucial

cooling water circulation system at the world’s two biggest oil shale-fired

thermal power plants.

Estonian Energy, referred to locally as “Eesti Energia,” owns and operates

the large production facilities at Narva, close to Estonia’s northeast border

with Russia. The Narva thermal power plants have a power generating

capacity in excess of 2,300MW. Estonia Energy is the leading electrical

energy producer in Estonia, one of the largest providers in the Baltic region

and an exporter of electricity to the Nordic power market.

Upon discovering extensive pipe corrosion in the system as part of an

ongoing improvement programme at Narva, Estonia Energy turned to

independent Estonia-based specialist plastic pipe producer Krah Pipes OÛ

to upgrade the approximately 40-year-old steel cooling water pipes. The

old pipes did not have a Borealis coating and were not made of Borealis

material. Key requirements for the new network, involving two parallel

pipelines running from a pumping station to the plants’ turbine room, were

safety and the reduced maintenance of leak-free pipes with a minimum 30-

year service life. Speed and flexibility of installation were particularly

important to avoid significant power generating downtime and major cost


Borealis’ bimodal HDPE BorSafe HE3490-LS was identified as the pipe

material offering the optimum balance of properties to meet the project’s

criteria. The high performance PE100 material, classified MRS 10 and on

the positive list of the PE100+ Association, exceeds the reference standard

for the production of these pipes. It has become the reference material for

many industrial pipe and pipe relining projects globally.

BorSafe HE3490-LS offers a wide range of advanced properties including

low notch sensitivity. Three installation techniques - open trench, relining,

and prefabricated segments for horizontal and vertical bends - were

required at Narva because of the complexity of the system, which includes

a 30m section beneath a concrete platform supporting 120 tonne

transformers. Here electro-fusion welded pipes were pulled through and

positioned in the pre-existing metal pipeline.

The consistent quality of BorSafe HE3490-LS allows for easy processing of

both straight pipe sections and bends. The PE100 material creates smooth

inner pipe surfaces and therefore a lower roughness coefficient than metal.

As a result, Krah Pipes was able to produce spiral wound pipes with a

reduced inside diameter of 1400mm, compared to the 1580mm of the

previous steel pipes whilst maintaining the same flow. A wall thickness of

20mm was used to deliver the necessary ring stiffness to ensure pipe

integrity at the weld lines.

The Estonian Energy Narva plant pipe system renovation project

commenced in September 2010 and was completed, system-tested and

reactivated in November 2010.

“Choosing a material such as BorSafe HE3490-LS with a long track record

was essential for the success of the project,” comments Peeter Kirtsi, CEO

of Krah Pipes OÜ. “Also, the very good processability of the product

contributed to the trouble-free production of the pipes.”

“This successful application of BorSafe HE3490-LS clearly demonstrates

how Borealis’ innovation is able to bring value-added benefits to the entire

chain: trouble-free production for Krah Pipes OÛ and excellent end-user

performance for Estonian Energy,” adds Jane Toogood, Borealis Vice

President Business Unit Pipe. “Such an example is built on our longstanding

leadership and dedication to the industry.”

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