IPLOCA New Technologies Award 2013 Goes to Herrenknecht Pipe Express

Herrenknecht received the “IPLOCA New Technologies Award” for the newly developed semi-trenchless Pipe Express method at IPLOCA’s recent convention in in Washington, D.C.

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.

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IPLOCA president and CEO of Gulf Interstate Engineering Doug Evans 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 Herrenknecht’s Business Unit Utility Tunneling, received the award during the event. He thanked Evans, BP project general manager John Attrill and the international experts. “We are very pleased with this recognition. 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,” said Schaffhauser.

Pipe Express is an innovative mechanized method for the near-surface installation of pipelines. Pipelines of up to 2,000 m in length and with diameters of 900 to 1,500 mm can thus be installed in a single-step procedure. A tunnel boring machine loosens the soil that 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 Herrenknecht Pipe Express technology received a second award of great importance in a short period of time. Half a year ago, the technology was awarded the “bauma Innovation Award” during the bauma 2013 in Munich. The development of Pipe Express was funded by the Federal Ministry of Environment with the aim of developing a particularly environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient method for pipeline installation.

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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 m per minute. Currently, the machine is in operation near Bangkok in Thailand for the “Fourth Transmission Pipeline.” Despite the monsoon season, the 42-in.’ gas pipeline is to be installed in several sections with overburdens of 1.20 to 2.30 m. With the heavy rainfall this could not be realized efficiently using conventional construction methods with long and wide open construction pits.

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