You are on page 1of 3


Water pipeline from Turkey to Cyprus

- 1,600mm diameter PE100 pipeline
and its flange-technology solution
The use of polyethylene pressure pipelines is gaining ever greater international regard and becoming ever more sophisticated.
The reasons are diverse, and include this materials excellent resistance to corrosion, the flexibility of PE 100 pipes, and
the resultant installation and cost benefits.

The construction of the 80km long drinking-water pipeline through the Mediterranean sets new standards in water
supply. Urgently needed by the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus (TRNC), it runs from the Turkish mainland (Mersin
province) to the Turkish part of the island of Cyprus. Single
lengths of 500m PE pipe are being produced for the TRNC
project, and installed tethered to float around 250m below
the surface of the Mediterranean. The otherwise customary
seabed installation was not the first-choice solution for this
project. One of the reasons was the depth exceeding 1,400m,
interspersed with numerous underwater ridges and trenches,
encountered along the installation route.
The plans for this project go back more than fifteen years. The
Alakpr dam at the Turkish side was planned as early as 1998;
the installation of the PE 100 pressure pipeline is now merely

the conclusion of a long chain of events. Construction of the

dam began in the mountains of the province, to the north-east
of the Mediterranean town of Anamur, in 2011. The dam is
also to be used for the generation of hydroelectric power, as
well as storing the water required for the pipeline. From here,
the water is transported by pipeline to the Anamur pumping
station, and then enters the pressure PE line leading into the
Mediterranean. After travelling around 80km through the
sea, the PE pressure pipeline reaches the coast of the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus, where the water is pumped into
the reservoir of the Geitky dam, some 3km way.
This unique PE project starts in the immediate vicinity of
the Taucu containment basin. Here, the 500mm lengths
of PE 100 pressure pipe sections, with an outside diameter
1,600mm, have already been under production for many

Figure 1: Elevation of the trans-Mediterranean pipeline route between Turkey and Cyprus

SPECIAL 01|2014



Figure 2: Left: completed stub end at Reinert-Ritz right: stub end, complete with steel encapsulation, pipe extension and bracing

months. Three extrusion machines have been operating in

parallel in this purpose-built facility. This system not only achieves cost benefits, but also for many projects, it provides an
assurance factor both desirable and in many cases mandatory.
The pipe length results from the fact that PE pipes, due to
their specific gravity of less than 1 g/cm3, would normally
float on the surface of the water. This fact, in combination
with the lower relative density of freshwater compared to
seawater, causes enormous positive buoyancy forces. These
are counteracted by the pipe joining yokes, each consisting of
two flanged connectors and a steel pipe bend to which the
flanged connector is fixed. The steel yokes have an outside

diameter of 1,514mm, a curvature radius of 8,000mm with a

bend angle of 30, and weigh around 10tonnes without the
connecting elements. Total weight including the two connecting elements is around 13tonnes. The steels yokes, which also
act as fixing and anchoring points, are subsequently drawn
down to a depth of 250m by means of steel cables and then
anchored to the seabed (Figure 1), illustrating even better the
special features of this project.
The specially made flange connectors are welded on to the
long PE pipes on site and bolted to the steel pipe yokes by
means of a steel flange provided specifically for this purpose.
This yoke is then anchored to the seabed by means of steel

Figure 3: Pipe sections waiting for transport


SPECIAL 01|2014


cables to the securing and anchoring point. The challenge

for Reinert-Ritz was that of providing a product to join the
PE pipes and steel yokes durably and securely such order that
even the most adverse conditions encountered underwater
in the Mediterranean could not impair the connection. At a
depth of around 250m, this design involves the following
technical challenges: buoyancy forces exerted by the PE 100
pipeline; powerful and dynamic sea currents, high shipping
(and submarine) traffic frequency, potential of earthquakes,
and the 7bar operating pressure.
Decision for high quality and safety
The Nordhorn company is the specialist for semi-finished
products and full pressure rated fittings conforming to the
specified pressure classification for large dimensions up to an
outside diameter of d 2000mm; hence the right address for
solutions to demanding problems. With over forty years of
experience in plastics and the companys pronounced quality awareness, the definitive arguments are established for
initiating the co-operation between the project planner and
Reinert-Ritz. From the high-quality granulate, used for production of the semi-finished products, through to the machining
of the finished stub ends, the company was able, with its
all- encompassing Quality Assurance system, to guarantee
the high production standards vital for the performance and
completion of this demanding project. This high quality consciousness has been shaped, in particular, by work for the gas
industry in Germany, one of the first customers for PE, which
makes use of this material and its high flexural strength in areas
subject to mining subsidence. Only then did the safety and
cost benefits result - within just fifty years - in PEs leadership
on the supply-systems market.
It is therefore not surprising that ever more positive experience
is being accumulated, with the application of PE pressure-pipe
systems in large-scale industrial fire-extinguishing installations
and power-generation plants, including the nuclear-energy
There are two production routes for these full pressure- rated
fittings: injection moulding and machining. The hollow bars
and solid rods made by Reinert-Ritz are used in the latter
process. This method assures a product free of voids and
incorporating more than forty years of design and processing
Solution of the complex flange concept
Production of hollow bars of 1,900/1,400mm, with a wall
thickness of approx. 250mm, is the first stage in the fabrication of the special flanged connection. Subsequent machining takes place on a milling machine capable of processing
material up to sizes of 2,800 x 1,500 x 4,800mm. A particular
challenge was presented by the large dimensions of the PE
pipeline fitting and the extremely high dimensional accuracy
demanded; tolerances of 0.0mm and +0.5mm. On site in
Turkey, the finished PE 100 stub end is enclosed geometrically secured in two steel clamping assemblies, into which it
must fit perfectly. The high-precision flanged connectors are
assembled on a special installation ship, with twenty-four

SPECIAL 01|2014

Figure 4: A 500 m pipe section in Turkey connecting bolts, on both

ends of the steel yoke. The yoke is then anchored to the seabed, to
enable the pressure pipeline to float at an average depth of 250m

connecting bolts, on both ends of the steel yoke. The yoke is

then anchored to the seabed, to enable the pressure pipeline
to float at an average depth of 250m.
The precondition for the success of this project was the successful evolution for the ultra-demanding innovative flange
design of a PE 100 fitting which would durably join steel and
PE 100. The extreme dynamic loads to which the flanged
connection is exposed in underwater service were, above all,
taken into account in development. Excel- lent communications and co-operation between Reinert-Ritz and the project
planners achieved successful in-company installation and have
generated an extremely high level of confidence for the longterm tightness and safety of the flanged connection.
CONTACT: REINERT-RITZ GmbH, Nordhorn, Germany
Tel. +49 5921 83470, E-Mail:
B6, 143