On Sept. 27, Herrenknecht received the “IPLOCA New Technologies Award” for the newly developed semi-trenchless Pipe Express method in Washington, DC. Near-surface pipelines can be laid economically and in an environmentally-friendly manner with the Pipe Express method.
The IPLOCA (International Pipeline & Offshore Contractors Association) based in Geneva, Switzerland represents major companies in the onshore and offshore pipeline industry worldwide. Every two years, as part of its annual meeting, IPLOCA awards the IPLOCA Award for significant innovations in the pipeline industry which is sponsored by BP.
Doug Evans, president of the IPLOCA and CEO of Gulf Interstate Engineering, emphasized in his speech that Herrenknecht Pipe Express can make a key contribution to environmental protection in pipeline projects. This aspect was decisive for the jury as protection of the environment is of major importance in the development of large-scale projects.
Ulrich Schaffhauser, chairman of the executive board of the Business Unit Utility Tunnelling, received the award during the event. He thanked the IPLOCA President Doug Evans, John Attrill, project general manager of BP and the international experts.
“We are very pleased with this recognition,” said Schaffhauser. “We were already honored once by IPLOCA with the Direct Pipe technology in 2009. It fills us with pride that we were able to win this year against 18 competitors from around the world. It demonstrates the achievements and commitment of our engineers and project managers.”
Pipe Express is an innovative mechanized method for the near-surface installation of pipelines. Pipelines of up to 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) in length and with diameters of 900 to 1,500 millimeters (36-60 inches) can be installed in a single-step procedure. A tunnel boring machine loosens the soil which is then directly conveyed aboveground using a milling unit that is carried along. At the same time, the pipeline is installed underground. The significantly narrower route enables the earthwork to be reduced to a minimum with this construction method and no groundwater lowering is necessary. This means that Pipe Express has a far lower impact on the environment compared with the conventional, open-cut construction method.
The new technology has shown its usefulness already in the first projects. As first reference project, the method demonstrated its efficiency in the construction of the “North-South Gas Pipeline” in the Netherlands, where the technology achieved top tunneling performances of up to 1.20 meters (3.95 feet) per minute. Currently, the machine is in operation near Bangkok in Thailand for the “Fourth Transmission Pipeline.” Despite the monsoon season, the 42-inch gas pipeline is to be installed in several sections with overburdens of 1.20 – 2.30 meters (3.95 – 7.55 feet). With the heavy rainfall this could not be realized efficiently using conventional construction methods with long and wide open construction pits.
Pictured above are Doug Evans, IPLOCA president and CEO of Gulf Interstate Engineering; Ulrich Schaffhauser, chairman of the executive board of the Business Unit Utility Tunnelling at Herrenknecht; and John Attrill, project general manager of BP at the IPLOCA awards ceremony.
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