Herrenknecht was honored for innovation at a recent pipeline industry event in Washington, D.C. The International Pipe Line and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) named the company as the winner of 2013 New Technologies Award for the newly developed semi-trenchless Pipe Express method, which allows near-surface pipelines to be laid economically and in an environmentally friendly manner. The award was presented on Sept. 27, at IPLOCA’s annual convention.
IPLOCA, based in Geneva, Switzerland, represents major companies in the onshore and offshore pipeline industry worldwide. Every two years, as part of its annual meeting, the association awards companies that exhibit significant innovations in the pipeline industry. The IPLOCA New Technologies Award is sponsored by BP.
Doug Evans, president of IPLOCA and CEO of Gulf Interstate Engineering, 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 award 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 Business Unit Utility Tunnelling, received the award during the event. He thanked Evans, as well as John Attrill, project general manager of BP and the international experts who weighed in on the award.
“We are very pleased with this recognition,” Schaffhauser said. “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.”
Pipe Express is a 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 (36 to 60 in.) can thus be installed in a single-step procedure. A tunnel boring machine loosens the soil, which 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.
This is the second time in the last year that the Herrenknecht Pipe Express technology has received an industry award. The technology was recognized with the bauma Innovation Award at the bauma international trade fair for construction machinery in April.
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. The new technology has already been used successfully on the North-South Gas Pipeline project in the Netherlands and the Fourth Transmission Pipeline in Thailand.