Installation of ductile iron pipeline under expanding canel in Groningen

Installation of ductile iron pipeline under expanding canel in Groningen

The A.G. Wildervanck Canal in Veendam is currently being dredged to enable larger vessels to use the canel. The existing water pipeline, which runs under the canal, is currently not deep enough for this operation to be completed. For this reason, in December 2013, Visser & Smit Hanab was commissioned by the local water company to lay a new pipeline under the canal. This pipeline is being installed utalising the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method. In contrast to the existing steel pipes, the new pipeline is made of ductile iron with high-tensile couplings. This specialised technique is not common but Visser & Smit Hanab has plenty of experience with this process. Ductile iron socket and spiggot joints were selected for the job, in part because of the limited amount of space available to lay down the pipeline. Utalising this method with cast iron pipes it’s possible to considerabilly reduce the area required.

Prior to commencing drilling, 18 metre pipe lengths were assembled at the exit point of the HDD.  These 18m sections consisted of three 6 metre sections (known as triplets). The “triplet” sections are then placed on a launch system which is aligned in both horizontal and vertical planes to the HDD exit point.  As the 18m section is drawn back into the drilled hole the next section is moved into position on the launch system and joined using two special connecting rings. The main advantage of this technique is that lengthy trace alignment becomes irrelevant.

Viseer & Smit Hanab utalised its 100 ton drilling rig to complete the 195m drilling into which the cast iron pipeline was pulled through.

In addition to the drilling, Visser & Smit Hanab was also responsible for tie-in works from the newly installed line into the existing water lines on both sides of the canel. 

Despite having to work to a tight schedule, the project was successfully completed thanks to effective cooperation between the various departments within Visser & Smit Hanab and the local authorities in Veendam.