Johannesburg,14 June 2017.
The Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturer’s Association (SAPPMA) has released the local industry’s first policy statement for the supply of gaseous fuels using Polyethylene (PE) pipes, in order to ensure that the application and use thereof conforms to SANS/ISO 4437:2014.
This follows the appointment of a SAPPMA task team, headed up by George Diliyannis (Technical Service and Development Engineer at Safripol) at the end of last year, who was tasked with investigating the requirements of the current specification and compiling a guidance document for the industry body that would ensure high standards of pipe manufacture and installation when it comes to gas installations.
According to SAPPMA Chief Executive Officer, Jan Venter, the aim of this policy is to ensure that SAPPMA members fulfil the safety requirements of their pipeline customers in the natural gas market by providing additional guidelines on the practical application of the SANS/ISO 4437:2014 standard.
Above: George Diliyannis of Safripol headed up the specially appointed SAPPMA task team into the manufacturing of gas pipes in South Africa
“The gas industry in South Africa is growing rapidly, and SAPPMA recognises that it has a responsibility in this regard. Gas pipelines will increasingly become an important part of the country’s infrastructure. Extended working lifetimes and uninterrupted, safe supply of gas are therefore essential and will only happen if the pipes and the pipelines are prime quality.
HDPE is currently the only viable plastic pipe material for gas pipelines and satisfied customers and consumers are more likely to ensure that plastic pipe is specified for future gas pipeline projects. It is therefore important to ensure the integrity and safety of gas pipelines produced from HDPE. The supply of gas pipe which conforms to all requirements of SANS/ISO 4437:2014 standards, and which ensures the safety of people and the surrounding environment, is paramount to the continued growth of this segment,” Venter said.
The pipe construction methods which are covered in the new policy statement include solid orange pipe, solid black pipe with orange identification stripes as well as co-extruded pipe with orange outer layer and black inner layer.
“It is SAPPMA’s responsibility to ensure that the pipes used in gas pipelineshave been manufactured according to stringent specifications and adhere to global standards. The new policy will play a major role in ensuring that SAPPMA members follow all the requirements of the Standard by ensuring that it is correctly interpreted, that local conditions and customer preferences are taken into account and that sufficient quality control and quality assurance measures are applied during the selection of material and subsequent manufacture of pipelines for the safe transport of natural gas,” Venter explains.
All SAPPMA members have access to this document and SAPPMA will be carrying out audits to look for evidence that this policy is being adhered to and that the requirements of the Standard are being met.
“Extensive tests conducted over the last 45 years have confirmed that the long-term strength of plastic pipes is unaffected by natural gas and its common constituents – making them the ideal material to use in gas pipelines. HDPE pipes offer numerous benefits for gas pipe installations, in that they are lightweight and easy to handle, easy to join, available in a range of sizes and pressure ratings and have low frictional resistance, with hydraulic properties that remain virtually unchanged over its useful life. Displaying the SAPPMA mark on gas pipes that will now give added assurance that these pipes have been manufactured according to international standards and that they are guaranteed to meet, if not exceed, industry standards,” Venter concluded.
For more information about SAPPMA’s Policy for the application of and conformance to SANS/ISO 4437:2014 Plastic piping systems for the supply of gaseous fuels – Polyethylene (PE), visit www.sappma.co.za or email Admin@sappma.co.za