In January 2011, GWC advertised for expressions of interest and short-listed four of the 21 respondents to go to tender. On 23 March 2011, the design and construct contract was awarded to Pipe Fusions Australia and on 18 May 2011 works commenced onsite.
According to Mr Keane, when comparing design proposals for a PE solution to proposals for rubber ring joints, a significant attribute of the PE pipe was the fact that it is joined using thermal butt-welding equipment. This, according to Mr Keane, reduces the risk of damage to the pipe caused by tree roots and results in less maintenance overall.
The project team
Pipe Fusions is a Perth-based company which has extensive experience in steel and plastic pipe installation around Australia.
Pipe Fusions employed Iplex Water Design to provide hydraulic design and detailing, and Iplex Pipes Perth supplied the majority of pipes and fittings. In addition, Pipe Fusions employed a number of local subcontractors for the Gascoyne Irrigation Pipeline, including North West Solutions (excavation and backfilling), CMS (pipe fittings installation), and HTD Surveys (survey pick-up for design and survey set-out for construction).
At peak construction, Pipe Fusions Australia had approximately 40 employees and subcontractors working onsite.
Throughout the pipe-laying process, GWC acted as a liaison between Pipe Fusions and the growers, distributing regular newsletters and providing onsite clarification with regards to service connections.