HDI Lucas stays tuned in on Channel Island

Spiecapag and subsidiary HDI Lucas were engaged by APA Group to deliver complex horizontal directional drilling works as part of the Channel Island Bridge Pipeline Replacement Project in the Northern Territory.

Despite a variety of challenges onsite, the team was able to deliver the works on time, within budget and with an unblemished safety record.

The Channel Island Power Station is the largest facility of its kind in the Northern Territory and is the Darwin and the surrounding region’s primary power generator.

The facility is powered by natural gas from APA Group’s Amadeus Gas Pipeline (AGP) which is attached to the side of the existing Channel Island Bridge.

The section of the AGP attached to the bridge is narrower diameter than the rest of the pipeline and does not allow in-pipe inspections tools to be used to monitor the ongoing integrity of the infrastructure.

For this reason, APA saw the need to replace this section with a section of pipe the same diameter of the existing pipeline to ensure the integrity of the entire line could continue to be upheld.

To minimise potential environmental impacts, the pipeline was installed under Darwin Harbour using horizontal directional drilling (HDD).

HDI Lucas on Channel Island Bridge
An overhead shot of the pullback within sight of the Channel Island Bridge.

Enter HDI Lucas, Spiecapag’s HDD experts with a reputation for achieving success on even the most complex of pipeline projects across Australia and New Zealand.

The Channel Island project called for a 1.4 km HDD with an 18 inch (457 mm) hole and a 12 inch (304 mm) product pipe, while the location of the entry and exit points of the HDD were designed to be collocated, where feasible, with the existing Channel Island Road to minimise disturbance to mangrove unities fringing Darwin Harbour.

Not without its challenges, the drilling was completed through hard rock conditions and seven machines were required on the breakover for pullback.

HDI Lucas says its focus was always on safety and commended the efforts of the project’s leadership team in getting the job done.

“Well done to Project Manager Orla Gallagher, HDD Superintendent John Keatinge, Construction Manager Kieran Mullane, Nick Sargent and Bryce Webb with the successful pullback on one of the most difficult projects we have completed in Darwin, Northern Territory,” the company says.

“200 mpa+ rock, compound curve, 1,300 m+ drill length and minimum radius for installation were many of the challenges that the team had to plan for. A focus on keeping everyone safe every day has been the key to making this project a success.”

Never in one place for too long, the HDI Lucas quickly and safely demobilised in preparation for its next HDD operation, this time in Western Australia.

For more information visit the HDI Lucas website. 

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