From the magazine

Ploughing with the Fockersperger

Ploughing technology, traditionally used in the rollout of fibre optics, has been scaled up to provide a new method of burying HDPE pipeline. This game changing technology is set to revolutionise the installation of coal seam gas (CSG) upstream gathering lines.

Murphy Pipe and Civil held a demonstration day in Brisbane for its newly designed FSP 220 Fockersperger plough. The company is the first to customise this German ploughing technology to install 450 mm diameter HDPE pipe for the Australian CSG sector.

After a safety induction, those in attendance witnessed the plough in action.

The FSP 220 Fockersperger system uses a unique ripper and chute design. The ground is ripped using a vertical blade with a ripper tyne attached at the base. Immediately behind this blade, a hollow chute is used to guide the pipe into position. The ground is only temporarily parted and soon moves back into position around the pipe. The plough is pulled forward using either one or two mobile winching machines depending on ground conditions.

“The plough-in demonstration was quite an eye opener. It was amazing to watch large PE pipe smoothly disappearing into the ground. I believe that, in the right areas, this will represent the future for the laying of gas pipe in Australia” said one of the attendees, Founder of Gas Advisory Services Pty Ltd John Fleming.

Murphy Pipe and Civil’s Jim Campbell outlined the plough’s benefits at the demonstration, stating that the increase in productivity afforded by the FSP 220 Fockersperger plough will make the installation of CSG gathering lines more cost efficient.

In addition, he said that this technology provides superior outcomes for landowners by drastically reducing both the size of the easement and the time spent on each farm.

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