Pipelay Case Study

Rigid pipe replacement in California's marshes

Environmentally-conscious portable solution


Following routine inspection of the Bay Area Product Line in Solano County, California, replacement of a 1.9-mile-long buried segment had been commissioned to ensure integrity of the pipeline. The new pipe was to be installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) as a solution reducing environmental impact as opposed to traditional methods such as open trenching on the marsh.

MDL Solution

The client employed the MDL 2-track tensioner and expert personnel for the job. Mounted on an anchored barge, the MDL TTS-2/140 Series Tensioner was used to consolidate the pipe into 200 ft-lengths and then push the section of pipe horizontally onto support rollers until it reached the final length of 1.2 miles.


The complete automation of the tensioner, including readouts provided by the control system, paired with MDL's expert personnel, ensured that the product was handled under correct tension and speed, and prevented the growing pipeline from moving out of the firing line - resulting in a safe replacement of the pipe without an environmental impact.

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