Herrenknecht Pipe Express Deployed in Sweden

Herrenknecht Pipe Express Deployed in Sweden

In the Pipe Express method, with a thrust of 500 tonnes, the Herrenknecht Pipe Thruster at the starting position pushes forward the excavation unit together with the pipeline. The tunnel boring machine is mounted at the front end of the pipe string to be installed. On site the pipes are welded into 200-m long strings and prepared for installation.

Herrenknecht’s newly developed semi-trenchless method for pipeline installation has completed its third successful mission. South of Stockholm, Züblin Scandinavia AB installed a water pipeline more than a kilometer in length within 12 days using Pipe Express. Groundwater lowering was not required despite a water level just below the terrain’s surface. Compared to conventional open-cut construction the method has significantly less impact on the environment, while simultaneously minimizing costs.

Herrenknecht Pipe Express Deployed in Sweden

With Pipe Express, in comparison with the open-cut method, the corridor as well as the corresponding earthworks can be reduced by up to 70 percent. This also increases acceptance by the population, land users and landowners as the use of large equipment is reduced and construction time is shortened. Near Stockholm, 1,036 m of pipeline were laid in 12 days.

The benefits were obvious to Mats Ohlsson, project manager of client Stockholm Vatten: “For open-cut construction we would have needed sheet piles and we would have had to lower the groundwater.” The Pipe Express method from Herrenknecht, however, requires no lowering of the groundwater. The construction company made the most of this enormous budget and time advantage. It used Pipe Express for the laying of a 1,036-m section of a 48-in. water pipeline near Huddinge, some 10 km south of Stockholm. Drilling started on Feb. 22, 2015, and the destination reached on March 5. In the most productive 12-hour shift, 221 m of pipeline disappeared into the ground; the average construction performance was 0.70 m per minute. About 60 percent of the construction time was taken up just with welding and coating the up to 224-m long steel pipe strings.

Herrenknecht Pipe Express Deployed in Sweden

In the semi-trenchless Pipe Express method, the vertical trenching unit connects the TBM working underground with the buggy on the ground surface. While the TBM pulls in pipelines with a diameter of up to 1.5 meters, the trenching unit on the surface digs a trench only about 40 cm wide.

Michael Lubberger, Senior Product Manager for Pipelines at Herrenknecht, is proud of the success in Sweden: “After the pilot project in the Netherlands and the subsequent deployment in Thailand, this is already our third drive with Pipe Express. We see strong potential for the new method on the pipeline market.” The keen interest of international specialists on the site confirms this view.

Pipe Express from Herrenknecht is a new, semi-trenchless near-surface pipeline installation method. In this method, a buggy with a trenching unit creates a narrow, approximately 40 cm wide trench on the surface. Below it in the soil a boring machine is mounted that digs the actual tunnel with diameters of up to 1.5 m and lays the pipeline at the same time. The excavated soil is brought to the surface by the trenching unit and backfilled in the trench again behind the machine; laborious finishing work is not required. The pushing force for both excavation unit and pipeline is provided by a Herrenknecht Pipe Thruster located at the starting position.

Herrenknecht Pipe Express Deployed in Sweden

With Pipe Express, up to 2,000 m long pipelines with a diameter of 900 to 1,500 mm (36 to 60 in.) can be laid quickly and cost-efficiently. Extensive earthworks, groundwater lowering, the ramming of sheet piles, etc., are not necessary.

In contrast to the conventional construction method, the corridors, including construction paths, are up to 70 percent narrower. Extensive earthworks, groundwater lowering, the ramming of sheet piles, etc., are not necessary. Up to 2,000-m long pipelines with a diameter of 900 to 1,500 mm (36 to 60 in.) can thus be laid quickly and cost-efficiently.

The company Stockholm Vatten produces around 370,000 cubic m of drinking water daily for the 1.3 million residents of the Swedish capital. Züblin Scandinavia AB were contracted to add one kilometer of pipeline south of Stockholm to the existing network.

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