Moving forward in pipeline technology

Direct Pipe® continues to show its quality as a pipe installation method across the world by becoming an increasingly popular choice for underground infrastructure projects. 

In Auckland, New Zealand, Direct Pipe® proved itself in a wastewater treatment plant modernisation project, where the Herrenknecht utility machine set a new distance record by boring 1,930 m through the NZ subsoil into the sea at McConnell Dowell’s Army Bay Ocean Outfall Project in 2019. By using the innovative technology, harmful environmental effects on the underwater flora were minimised.

In mid-2020, the record was broken once more in NZ when McConnell Dowell completed an incredible 2,021 m drive at the Snells Algies wastewater pipe and outfall construction project with the help of Herrenknecht technology. 

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) rigs from Herrenknecht are also part of contractors’ standard repertoire for river crossings. In Anglesea, Victoria, Dunstans Construction Group used a Herrenknecht HK250C rig to replace a sea outfall pipeline for a water treatment plant that had been cut off by a collapsing cliff, with all works completed within a few months. 

Around the world

Far across the world in the south of Paris, the 10 m deep Canal latéral à l’Oise running parallel to the river Oise was widened and deepened to accommodate large vessels as part of a canal extension. The existing gas pipeline had to be lowered by 8 m and replaced and, after only a week, the approximately 250 m long and 18 m deep river crossing was successfully completed. 

A special feature of this project was the HK80CK rig used, a hybrid piece of machinery powered by both a diesel engine and an electric motor. Once the rig was in position, only the electric motor runs during the drilling process, resulting in lower exhaust emissions. 

In urban areas, the compact rig stands out with its space-saving design, while its low noise levels can increase acceptance of construction work among surrounding urban populations.  

Herrenknecht says for the extraction of resources, its mechanised excavation technology is also commonly used. With entry angles between a shallow 8 and a vertical 90 degrees, coal seam gases and oil sands at depths of up to 2,000 m can be tapped using slant directional drilling (SDD). In Zevenbergen in the Netherlands, renewable geothermal energy accessed by Herrenknecht deep drilling rigs is used to heat multiple greenhouses. 

Always improving

To drive advances in the pipeline market, Herrenknecht is constantly working to improve existing pipeline technologies. In close cooperation with HDD specialists, for example, innovative tools have been developed that significantly simplify the previously multi-stage reaming process. 

The Full Face Hole Opener (FFHO) is a milestone in HDD pipeline installation as it enables the efficient reaming of pilot holes in a single step. The Downhole Jetpump (DHJP) removes the drill cuttings in the drill string itself and not through the borehole, meaning HDD boreholes are cleaned much more effectively and safely than before. 

The tools can be used individually or in combination to help to get the best results from any project.

This article was featured in the October 2020 edition of The Australian Pipeliner. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

 For more information visit the Herrenknecht website.

If you have news you would like featured in The Australian Pipeliner contact Managing Editor David Convery at

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