Northwest NASTT 2016

Greg Tippet, 2016 Northwest Trenchless Conference chair (far left) and Craig Vandaelle NASTT-NW chair, with the 2016 Northwest Trenchless Conference Project of the Year winners. Accepting the award is Patrick O Donoghue, Michels Canada; Kimberley Chiu, TransCanada; and Sam Wilson, CCI Inc.


More than 210 trenchless professionals made the trek to Edmonton, the provincial capital of Alberta, Nov. 10 for the North American Society for Trenchless Technology Northwest Chapter’s 20th annual Northwest Trenchless Conference.

One of the highlights of the events is the announcement of the 2016 Northwest Trenchless Project of the Year. The project of the year highlights a project located within Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba, which took place between November 2015 and November 2016.

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Greg and Ken Northwest Trenchless Conference

Greg Tippett, 2016 Northwest Trenchless Conference chair and conference keynote speaker Ken Foster, 2016 NASTT Hall of Fame inductee.

This year, the prize went to the Northern Courier Pipeline Project for TransCanada Corp..  Consulting engineer for the project was CCI Inc. and the HDD contractor for the project was Michels Canada.

The project consisted of several large watercourse crossings. The largest crossing identified was the Athabasca River, Located north of Fort Mackay.  This crossing would be a milestone for the HDD Industry in North America due to its combination of the length of crossing and required borehole diameter, 2196 m and 54 in. respectively. In fact, it is considered one of the longest 42-in. HDD installations ever executed in the world.

Due to the complexity and scope, significant pre planning was conducted, evaluating feasibility. The crossing would serve as a casing pipe for a high temperature NPS 24 pipeline. The NPS 24 pipe was installed inside of the NPS 42 pipe and grouted into place. The grout system was required to prevent buckling in the pipe due to the high temperature. The HDD construction required the combination of newer installation techniques to achieve the final goal. The success of this project was due to the fact that the engineering team and the contractor worked in synergy during the construction phase to successfully finish the crossing.

In addition to the project of the year discussions, there were 11 technical presentations covering a wide range of topics from case studies in pipe rehabilitation, microtunneling, and horizontal direction drilling, as well as studies on SEM tunneling, guided boring, sustainable growth, clogging and drilling waste reduction.

All events took place at the Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall. Special event sponsors for the conference were Insituform Technologies Ltd., Associated Engineering, the City of Edmonton, Michels Canada, Terraburst, Pipelogix, Stantec Consulting, and IVIS Inc. General sponsors were Neptune Coring, Thurber Engineering, Big Bore Directional Drilling, Ipex Inc., Neptune Coring, United Pipelines, Dragados and WSP Focus.

The 29 exhibitors at the event were A.H. McElroy Sales & Service, Akkerman, Apex, Aries Industries, Big Bore Directional Drilling LTD, BOS Solutions, Calgary Tunnelling & Horizontal Boring/Enterprise Trenchless Crossings, Channelline International, Clean Harbors Directional Boring, Cubex Ltd., Direct Horizontal Drilling, Empipe Solutions Ltd., Hobas, Insituform Technologies Limited, IPEX Inc., IVIS Inc., Liqui-Force Services (Ont) Inc., Michels Canada, PICA Corp., PipeLogix Inc., Sameng Inc., Sanexen Environmental Services, Sub-Surface Equipment / TT Technologies Inc., T2 Utility Engineers Inc., The Crossing Company, U of A, Uni-Jet Industrial Pipe Services, VacMaster, and Wallace Construction Specialties Ltd.