Uponor Infra (formerly KWH Pipe) is a world-leading pipe systems provider that offers high-quality products in combination with design, planning, technical support and installation capabilities. Production units are located in Europe, South-East Asia and North America.

Intake and outfall pipes for power plants

For the power industry, Uponor Infra offers Weholite, a structured-wall polyethylene pipe with smooth internal and external surfaces for low-pressure applications up to 2 bar internal pressure. It is one of the few polyethylene pipes in the world that can be produced in dimensions larger than 2m. In fact, it is manufactured in sizes ranging from 300mm to 3,500mm internal diameter, and can be supplied in ring stiffness classes up to 8kN/m². Pipe lengths are normally 12m – 18m, but pipes can be supplied in even longer lengths depending on transport capabilities. Weholite is extremely suitable for intakes and outfalls for power plants and other industrial facilities. It is also used in penstock lines for hydroelectric plants.

The main benefits of Weholite compared with alternative materials are that it is durable and lightweight, and has outstanding resistance to chemicals and corrosion, making it ideal for use in marine projects. Weholite provides all the technical advantages of equivalent PE solid-wall pipes but with substantial savings in weight, combining greater ease of installation with increased cost effectiveness. Installation is quick and reliable, with the pipes easily transported to the job-site, even in poor ground conditions. Weholite pipes have a natural ability to ‘flex’, which enables them to adjust to different loading conditions, vibrations, stress and soil movements, without causing damage to the pipe.

Installation of marine pipelines

As polyethylene’s density is lower than water’s, pipes can be towed by tugboat to the installation site. What makes Weholite truly unique and especially suited for marine projects is that it has a hollow profile wall that can be filled with a non-hardening cement mortar mixture. This counteracts the natural buoyancy of the polyethylene while preserving the flexibility of the pipes. Internal weighting also reduces total project costs as the need for dredging is much smaller compared with pipes with external weights.

Intakes for GDF SUEZ’s Combigolfe power plant, Fos-sur-Mer, France.
Cooling water intakes for GDF SUEZ’s CyCoFos power plant, Marseille, France.
Weholite PE-HD pipe is lightweight, which makes the installation quick and cost-efficient.
Weholite is available in large diameters and with tailor-made fittings.
PE-HD pipes’ flexibility enables them to adjust even to difficult installation conditions.

Services for marine pipeline projects

Services offered by Uponor Infra for marine pipeline projects include:

  • Hydraulic calculations
  • Strength calculations
  • Material supply
  • Welding and assembly work
  • Installation or supervision of the installation

Advantages of Weholite HDPE pipe for power plants

The main advantages of Weholite HDPE pipe are:

  • Low weight, easy handling
  • 100% tightness with welded joints
  • Several ring stiffness classes: 2kN/m², 4kN/m², 6kN/m², 8kN/m² or tailor-made
  • Internal working pressure up to 2 bar
  • Flexible at installations
  • Superb with bad ground conditions
  • Long service life
  • Corrosion-resistant material – low maintenance
  • High abrasion resistance
  • Delivery lengths flexible
  • Good hydraulic properties
  • Tailor-made fittings

Uponor Infra supplies a range of Weholite products, including pipes from 300mm to 3,500mm (tailor-made sizes are also possible), bends, T-pieces, manholes, special fittings and diffuser ports.