Applied Flow Technology (AFT) reported a piping engineer with Hatch saved a customer $9.8 million in capital expenses by using AFT Fathom to model and trial a pump and pipe system for a potash injection well mine.

The mine consisted of 750 injection wells, or caverns, connected by a network of 45.5 km of piping. Mining is done in stages, with as many as 60 caverns worked per stage. Each stage can last as long as 18 months.

The Hatch engineer used the software and model to determine pipe, pumps and related equipment sizing to minimize costs while meeting design requirements. The model was used to test combinations of pipe material and size at each stage for well pressure and pipe pressure. Seventeen scenarios were used to verify the design.

Using Fathom, the Hatch engineer designed a reusable piping system and process. Modular piping could be disassembled and re-used for new injection sites as the mine progressed. The system and process allowed pipes for 60 mine caverns to be reused across all 750 sites during the mine’s life, contributing significantly to the reduction in capital expenses.