Giant UNIWEMA® for king-sized corrugated tubes

“When your customer starts thinking big, you have to start thinking big, too, especially in terms of innovation."   

   Giant UNIWEMA®







LNG transfer breakthrough

Nexans new UNIWEMA® is the largest machine for manufacturing pipes ever built, and by far the biggest one ever operated by Nexans. It will be key to manufacturing a new generation of super-sized Cryodyn® transfer lines for ship-to-ship loading of liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Bigger pipes mean more gas

UNIWEMA® Forming and Welding machinery has been used for years to make cable sheaths and tubes, including Cryoflex® lines: flexible, concentric, vacuum-insulated corrugated tubes, 20 cm in diameter, to carry ultra-cold LNG between ships. Cryodyn® applies the same technology to make 65 cm tubes, thus increasing LNG transfer capacity nine times!

Majors move deeper

As oil companies move gas production into deeper waters, they need to transfer LNG between ships in a harsh offshore environment. Majors like ExxonMobil, Statoil, and Petrobras (Brazil) are already planning for additional Floating Production Storage and Offloading Ships (FPSOs).


Hanover-Halden cooperation

Nexans Hanover started to design a new and larger UNIWEMA® in 2008. By 2009 the machine was assembled and commissioned, and after months of testing and fine-tuning, the prototype was launched in January 2010. On almost a daily basis, information was shared between Hanover and Halden, combining German knowhow about cryogenics and machinery for corrugated pipe forming, and Norwegian expertise in dynamic offshore cables and steel armoring. The next steps will be manufacturing the outer pipe, armor and terminations. The pipe will be tested in 2010.


Other uses?

Although the ability to produce large corrugated pipes was developed specifically for LNG, a tube of this size could also have other practical uses elsewhere.