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Torque Tools Brave Mozambique Deluge on Gas Pipeline

Supplier: Norbar Torque Tools (Aust)
15 July, 2008

Norbar Torque Tools played a pivotal role in the successful installation of a new natural gas pipeline running from Mozambique to South Africa.

Torque Tool (Pty) Ltd, the Southern African representative for Norbar, was asked to supply a 9,500Nm pneumatic torque wrench - which was also capable of recording the readings - to tighten mainline valve assemblies and valve off-take assemblies along the pipeline.

"The requirement was for a pneumatic torque multiplier to cover 9,500Nm and was capable of recording the readings to tighten mainline valve assemblies and valve take-off assemblie3s," recalls David Poerner, managing director of Torque Tool.

"After delivering the equipment, I flew up to Vilanculos in Mozambique, where I demonstrated how to operate the PT9 Pneutorque, fitted with an annular torque transducer, and how to record the readings, which would be stored on the Pro-Log digital display and downloaded to a PC back at the base camp."

A month later the contractor requested that Poerner should provide on-site training to ensure that the job was done correctly. In one instance he and his team arrived in torrential rain at the first of four scraper stations near Chokwe. Undeterred, the next day, they started the process of loosening all the bolts holding the valve to the pipe and the end plate with the PT9, and cleaned and lubricated the bolts.

"We started with the pipe valve side and re-fitted the bolts. It then rained again." continues David Poerner. "We carried on just long enough to fit the end plate to seal the valve before the hole filled with water." However, the valves were eventually completely covered with water. This took four days to pump out. When they got started again, they managed to complete both sides of the valve, using the PT9 fitted with the annular torque transducer and the Pro-Log, recording all the readings. All this time they were draining the other hole with the other valve in it.

Despite the trials and tribulations endured by the people on the job, Norbar demonstrated that its tools are up to the job, regardless of weather conditions, in Mozambique, or anywhere else in the world.