HDPE’s long life, robust nature, low cost and ease of installation have made it the perfect piping product for so many of Australia’s resource, industrial and utility markets, but even the best systems can be improved.

Recent changes to the AS/NZS 4645:2018 call for gas distribution networks to apply stricter guidelines that include the use of automatic butt welding machines for HDPE pipelines 225mm and above or pipelines operating above 700kPa.

In June 2019, pipe fusion equipment supplier Caldertech was asked to provide a butt welder capable of meeting the new welding requirements for Wenco and the Wood Group, as part of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) project for their client Albemarle at the Kemerton Lithium Plant.

The project required the welding of over 5km of HDPE 280mm and 225mm SDR11 gas pipe to help feed the natural gas powering the kilns and other in-plant processes.

Caldertech’s Gator 2 Automatic Butt Welder was the solution best able to meet this criteria, providing the expected level of confidence that pipes are joined correctly every time, with a simplified automated welding procedure and in-built data logging.

Paul Mitchell from Wood Group said, “Of critical importance was not only the unit’s ability to weld in an automatic mode, but also the ability of its traceability and data logging procedures to meet the client’s quality assurance (QA) requirements.

“The Gator 2 performed as requested and provided the necessary QA data.”

This partner content is brought to you by Caldertech. For more information, visit

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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