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tower ad right Sept 2020

Maxibor puts HDD in the spotlight

Maxibor has put horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in the spotlight, with its collaborative approach, expertise and results.

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) specialist Maxibor has been making the news for all the right reasons: delivering positive outcomes for asset owners, principal contractors and the broader community. Each of the projects the company has received publicity for have shared a set of common features.

The projects all had a high degree of difficulty or complexity and required Maxibor to address and successfully overcome a range of challenges. However, most importantly, delivery of the projects resulted in the creation of stronger relationships across the HDD delivery chain.

Warrell Creek river crossing

Maxibor was engaged to undertake a 500 m river crossing under Warrell Creek near Macksville on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. The wo rk was completed on behalf of Visionstream – an information and communication technology network solutions provider to the Australasian market that has been allocated significant work by NBN Co across the state. The project was widely publicised through NBN Co’s online media, highlighting Maxibor’s environmentally friendly and community consultative approach.

The cleaners at Swansea.

A key challenge was a 500 m drill through bedrock 15 m beneath a creek, with a compressive strength in excess of 180 megapascals (granite toughness), then into cobblestone. The installation required keeping the drill bit on track and at the right depth to prevent the bore shot from causing any environmental problems.

Maxibor used the Falcon Digitrack tracking system with varying high signal strength to track the drill head under the riverbed using the ‘boatover’ technique, to meet these challenges head on.

Livingstone Shire twin bores

In a project delivered directly to Livingstone Shire Council near Rockhampton, Queensland, Maxibor performed twin 315 mm and 450 mm diameter bores, 360 m in length, using Iplex pipe manufactured with a new Qenos resin. The pipe was installed to a depth of 15 m, running under a causeway, through 260 m of hard rock and 100 m of sandy clay.

The complex project was featured in several articles and forums, with Maxibor Business Development Manager David Turner starring in a Qenos-produced video on the project.

Swansea Channel crossing

The company also received local television news coverage for the completion of a 335 m, 800 mm diameter water pipeline, which was installed in water-charged sand to a depth of 30 m. The installation, which crossed beneath the Swansea Channel in the Lower Hunter region of NSW, was part of a contract Comdain was awarded by Hunter Water.

Pipe pull through on the Swansea Channel crossing.

Drilling beneath the channel provided significant challenges in keeping the bore hole stable in the environmentally sensitive and public site. The challenges were overcome through a collaboration with drilling fluid supplier AMC, which provided Maxibor with a comprehensive mud program to keep the bore hole intact and free from frac-out events.

Collaborative approach

Maxibor’s collaborative approach and work to enable Indigenous Australians to participate in the civil construction and renewables industries was also recently highlighted in a leading water industry publication. The articles featured commentary on the company’s work with CPB Contractors on the WestConnex project in Sydney.

In addition, Maxibor’s renewables arm, MaxiEnergy, is presenting at the Developing Northern Australia Conference in Alice Springs in June with global technology giant ABB Group and leading Indigenous business JNC Group.

Expertise behind the attention

This recent publicity of Maxibor’s activities reflects the high degree of expertise the company provides its clients to overcome the challenges presented in each HDD project it encounters.

Maxibor’s successful approach is based on a number of factors: good design and planning; detailed quote documentation that sets out a clear methodology; quality prevailing over cost; a total commitment to safety and the environment; precise service location; and the use of quality pipe and drilling fluid products.

The company is also committed to open and timely communication with asset owners and principal contractors, finding the right equipment and people for the job, as well as being prepared to ask for advice from connections across the civil construction sector.

Part of this detailed planning and design includes developing an understanding of ground conditions at various levels of a site, which is critical to determining the most suitable bore design. This includes undertaking extensive investigations of the geotechnical conditions, as well as considering the insights of the team and its network across the civil construction sector, which are then applied to determine the best design and plant to be used.

This combination of understanding the ‘geotechs’, getting the design right and taking a multifaceted approach results in an organised project and informed confidence to overcome the variety of challenges that arise during a project and ultimately reduce the risk to project stakeholders.

Building HDD’s profile

As a specialised but often times misunderstood part of the civil construction sector, it is important that the profile of HDD methodology extends beyond the ‘bore profile’.

Maxibor says the more those involved in Trenchless Technology promote their successes and the process of overcoming challenges to decision makers, the more asset owners and principal contractors will understand the opportunities that can be delivered by trenchless solutions.

Maxibor is taking on this challenge and is ready to work together with asset owners, principal contractors and suppliers to promote the outcomes of future projects, such as the 270 km W2BH project with the MPCJohn Holland Joint Venture, which will deliver water from the Murray River to Broken Hill.

This article was featured in the March edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the Maxibor website.

If you have a project you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Chloe Jenkins at

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