Servicing all areas in Australia and New Zealand, Adelaide headquartered Pipefreezer Pty Ltd is offering a specialist service that is providing major savings for mining companies in reducing costly downtime and improving water management.

The Australian Mining Review recently spoke to pipefreezing specialist Richard Griffin about what makes the company’s services so valuable for companies with a pipe issue?

AMR: How would you talk a potential client into using pipe freezing?

RG: The main advantage of pipe freezing is that we can maintain a system’s uptime and the client doesn’t have to shut that critical pipeline down.

Essentially, if people need to work on a pipeline, for example they may need to do a weld on a pipeline, the only way other they can do that is to drain the pipeline down and get all the water out of it to do their work.

What we do is we freeze the contents of that pipe – and it can be oil, it can be diesel, it can be water, whatever – as long as it’s got a hydrogen atom in it, we can freeze the pipeline and make a temporary block with a cryogenic ice plug.

The client can then cut open the pipe make their repair without having to drain the water, refill or purge the air from the system.. This saves water and crucial down time.

For example, say it is a bore line that might be 100 kilometres long– you are talking about millions of litres of water which they will have to work out how they will deal with it. By freezing just a small section of the pipe we can keep all that water in the pipeline yet still achieve the job that they need to do.

AMR: How large is the area are you freezing?

RG: It depends on the size of the pipe, the larger the diameter, the longer the plug we develop.

However with pipefreezing it is essential that there is no flow or air in the pipe.   In our job planning we work with the client to determine the best approach for their specific requirements.

AMR: What are some of the benefits your service is providing to mining companies?

RG:  The key benefit is maintaining system uptime. By pipe freezing we only need to isolate the exact area where work has to be carried out.  This allows the continued use of the wider system.  For example

I am about to undertake work at a major South Australia  mine site. Our work is focused on the ring main that services safety shower network.

There are only two  pipes that are faulty so they only have to replace a small amount of pipe work on these two lines, By using pipefreezing. the other 50 odd showers on that line, are live and ready to use.

The other are alternative would have required draining the entire system resulting in having the safety showers inoperable for whatever length of time it took, then to do the repairs and finally refill the lines to get the system back up and functioning.

Another example is a fire protection situation for a power station. That power station provides about 40% of South Australia’s power and there was a requirement to replace a valve on a fire protection line. Now there are probably around 50 valves of that size in this plant, but there is no other way to isolate them because the valve is an isolation point. If we didn’t freeze that pipe they would have to drain that line down which we calculated was carrying close to 700,000 litres of water. If that line is shut down then there is no protection for the plant

AMR: There must be a great deal of expertise and experience in operating a critical service like this. How long have you been doing this for?

RG: I’ve personally been involved for nearly 15 years and our technology partner in Sydney has been in the business for over 30 years now. We’ve successfully completed well over 300,000 pipe freezes between us.

We would be biggest dedicated pipe freezing group in Australia. .

We are also the only Pipefreezing company in Australia that has all the relevant ISO certifications, we are certified to ISO 9001:2015 / ISO 45001:2018 / ISO 14001:2015.

AMR: Finally, why would mining companies hire Pipefreezer?

RG: Mining is all about keeping the “beast” moving. One minute of downtime for a major mine is extremely costly and our bill is insignificant compared to saving just one minute on that plant’s run time.

At the same time, water is a very big component of a mining operation and where we can also add value is with water conservation. The miners don’t want to be dumping millions of litres of water in the desert to repair a pipe, when we can save them all that waste. There are new water conservation guidelines coming through so this is going to become more and more important.

Our purpose at Pipefreezer is to provide a cost effective and environmentally friendly method of pipe isolation on projects requiring pipe modification, pipeline maintenance or pipe repairs.

We add value for our customers by understanding their needs. We deliver quality, technical innovation, and a responsive service.

By partnering with us on your fluid isolation project, we significantly minimise system downtime and consequently reduce the impact of any pipe repairs or pipeline maintenance. One of the key benefits we can bring to the table is allowing your plant and equipment to continue normal operations with minimal disruption.

Pipefreezer’s passion is to provide a superior, value-add service to its clients in the mining, HVAC, plumbing, fire services and building management industries by offering cost-effective and first-rate solutions to costly and time consuming system drain downs.

Our aim it so keep our impact on the environment at a minimum and we always put safety first in all of our practices.

Our processes and procedures are innovative, well planned and client focused – designed to create value through saving time and resources.

Why should they choose pipefreezing?

  • It maximises system uptime
  • There is absolute shutoff – no leaks
  • Its cost effective
  • It saves time
  • Its environmentally friendly – there is no wastage of water, chemicals, glycol or other pipeline contents
  • It provides isolation for leak detection
  • We partner with you to tailor the best solution for your particular requirements


Richard Griffin


T: 1300 747 373 or 0404 555 552

E: E: [email protected]