Southern Copper Corporation

Peru | 2019


  • Initial pumping pressure: 54 bar / 783 psi.
  • Average Temperature: 20°C / 68°F



  • Pexgol 315 mm (12”) Class 54
  • Pexgol 225 mm (8”) Class 30
  • Pexgol 200 mm (8”) Class 26
  • Pexgol 200 mm (8”) Class 15


APPLICATION: Water transportation

LENGTH: 1034 m

The Challenge

At the Cuajone mine (Southern Copper), the facility needed to install a new line at a height difference of 400 meters. This presented an immense construction challenge.

The line had to transport pumped river water to a tank. First, it needed to cross two slopes and an abrupt, complex terrain with the large rocks. In addition, adverse climate conditions and a lack of access roads made work more challenging. The pipe design pressure was 54 bar in the highest-pressure area.

Pexgol's Piping Solution

After studying the project and visiting the field, our technical team employed a Class 54 pipe for the higher-pressure area. For the remaining sections, they used pipe classes 30, 26, 21, and 15, respectively.

All the pipe sections were delivered in a long-length coil format. This allowed the team to design an installation plan with greater productivity compared to other material alternatives (such as carbon steel).

The solution also included the design of special connections. During the pick-up, all kinds of obstacles (rocks, bushes, cactus, etc) risked damage to the couplings. The sections were gradually jointed on the upper platform, then dragged and dropped hundreds of meters. The complete installation of the line (including the welds and mechanical joints) took approximately a quarter of the time it would have taken to have done it in carbon steel. This allowed significant savings in manpower and machine hours.

Cutting tools and other tools were used for welding by electrofusion. Other conventional accessories were used to tighten the special couplers. A total of 14 unions were executed.