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Large steel pipe manufacturing returns to WA

Manufacturing News

The Western Australian Water Corporation has facilitated the manufacture of extra-large steel water mains in WA through contracts associated with the new Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant (pictured).

Contracts will support local jobs and manufacturing in the Kwinana Industrial Area where larger pipes will be manufactured to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the plant.

The $58 million contract with Steel Mains will see 1,600mm diameter water pipes manufactured locally rather than at their plant in Victoria.

According to an announcement from Water Minister Dave Kelly, this eliminates previous supply chain risks and freight costs, while also eliminating transport emissions and reducing the energy needed to pump the water.

The first locally produced extra-large pipe will roll off the production floor in 2024 and be used to link the Alkimos plant to the water supply network.

Steel Mains traces its history back more than 140 years in WA and its forerunner supplied the steel pipe used in the construction of the Golden Pipeline from Mundaring Weir to the Kalgoorlie Goldfields.

The Australian-owned firm has operated in Kwinana since the 1960s and already supplies Water Corporation with locally manufactured steel pipe in smaller sizes.

The extended contract will allow the company to invest in tooling upgrades to its Kwinana factory, helping secure around 70 direct jobs.

The pipe will be produced using Australian steel with iron ore from the Pilbara and lined with cement from Cockburn Cement in Kwinana.

Each 12 metre-long section of the 1,600mm pipe weighs around nine tonnes and has an expected lifespan of around 120 years.

Picture: Water Corporeation/Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant

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