Talking big rigs in NZ

Smythe Contractors, a multi-resourced trenchless construction company owned by Mike and Isobel Smythe, is a long standing member of the No-Dig community. In 2008, the company imported the largest directional drill seen in New Zealand – a 50 tonne American Augers DD440T maxi rig, capable of installing 1 m diameter pipe for a kilometre; a feat previously unheard of in New Zealand.

The machine lived up to its billing when it set a New Zealand record by installing 950 m of 560 mm diameter pipe in one continuous operation at depths of up to 32 m on an Auckland North Shore sewer replacement project.

The Birkenhead Project

North Shore City Council was experiencing capacity constraints to their wastewater systems, which had adverse effects on the local streams and beaches in the Birkenhead area.

As part of the Project CARE initiative to clean up these beaches by 2021, the second stage of the Birkdale construction program called for an innovative design solution to allow the installation of a pipeline under sportsfields, through bush reserves, driveways and a garage at depths of up to 32 m.

The initial pipeline was designed as a microtunnelling project, however, an innovative engineer pursued the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) option, and following many meetings and discussions, Smythe advised the client of its intention to purchase a maxi rig. This would provide a cost-effective alternative to microtunnelling, and the tender was awarded to Smythe.

The major challenge on the project was the 560 mm HDPE pipe aligning with 2,100 mm diameter manholes up to 32 m deep. Although the geology did change from sandstone to weak silts along the pipe route, the main challenge was steering the pilot hole to align with the manhole positions.

Conventional steering systems failed to provide the accuracy required, and ultimately Smythe engaged expertise from Australia who applied their Paratrack steering system, which brought the job home.

The Birkdale project spanned 15 months and the project ran overtime although caused no delays to the Project Care Scheme.

The maxi rig features

The maxi rig brings numerous benefits to projects, including its portability to transport on-site, and ability to be setup on sites with soft ground conditions. The torque and pullback figures are conservative, which allows Smythe to design installations with the knowledge that the machine has more in reserve. This rig also has the wiggle steer feature which is useful in hard drilling mediums.

The domain of the Maxi Rig is the larger and longer distance pipe installations, where fluid volumes and pullback pressures rise with every metre. Smythe always works by the policy that the drill rig should have a higher pullback capability than the yield strength of the product pipe. As the pipe sizes increase in size, so does its yield strength, so there is little point in attempting an HDD installation with a machine that has half the pullback load of the pipe you are proposing to install.

Since this baptism on the installation in Auckland 2010, Smythe’s maxi rig has installed 1,700 m of 710 mm diameter pipe as part of Tauranga’s Southern Pipeline Wastewater Scheme, and the Smythe team is about to embark on the next 1,200m stage.

With larger 1,000 mm and 1,200mm prospects currently in design phase, the future of maxi rig grilling is looking promising for Smythe, and the ground the company is breaking grows further and deeper with every project completed.

Distinctively Smythe

Smythe offers years of trenchless experience combined with a full range of HDD and pipe jacking services, enabling the company to tackle any project, no matter how challenging.

The majority of the company’s installations require accuracy of steering to gradients as flat as 0.33 per cent in urban environments where low impact on residents, road users and protection of the environment are key drivers for the client.

Smythe’s future lies with major project works utilising the medium and maxi drill rigs to deliver longer and larger diameter pipe installations that meet the growing demands of the underground infrastructure industry. The company is moving into larger HDD opportunities in Australia and the South Pacific.

A HOBAS solution for any project

HOBAS jacking pipe systems are unique and have a variety of installation benefits that give them advantages over other jacking pipe materials. Smaller outside diametres means that major savings can be realised from reduced tunnel and bore sizes from the corresponding reduction in excavation for the same nominal bore. The light weight of HOBAS pipe translates into longer drives for auger style installations and a smaller project footprint in general.

Although HOBAS has been used by water authorities throughout Australia for decades, in recent years it has really established itself as a market leader in jacking pipe.

“It’s easy to understand why it is a favourite jacking pipe for contractors,” says Rob Carr Construction Manager Brett Everard. “With their high factors of safety and tight tolerances, a contractor can be less concerned about the risk of cracking or breaking. HOBAS jacking pipe has always performed exactly as we expected and has never been the cause of costly delays.”

Installation under new precincts

In 2012, the creation of a new, more advanced and higher capacity sewer main to support the growing needs of Melbourne’s Docklands required the use of technologically advanced products that would stand the test of time.

The tricky ground conditions due to the presence of Melbourne’s infamous Coode Island Silt required a specialised team in order to complete the project, with HOBAS and Thiess at the helm.

Thiess Services Project Manager Dean Larrassey said he had worked with HOBAS pipe numerous times overseas so knew the product could stand up to the challenges of the project.

“I had worked on various projects in Europe where HOBAS was very widely known, and HOBAS regularly exceeded the project requirements.”

“Because of the high volume of traffic experienced along Lorimer Street, we knew jacking was the way to go, so we used a micro-boring machine to jack approximately 500 m of HOBAS pipe through the notoriously difficult Coode Island Silt.

“The HOBAS pipe was easy to install in that it performed exceptionally well in the less than favourable ground conditions and we were able to complete the project right on schedule.

Installation under railways

A ground breaking project for HOBAS pipe in Western Australia’s Pilbara was completed at the end of 2012.

The Pilbara Region is located in the North Western corner of Australia in what is known as one of the hottest and at times wettest parts of the world.

Today, the Pilbara region is home to the rail and port infrastructure needed to transport ore from this remote region. With most of the ore being exported, large ports have been built to accommodate the ore transport; one of the largest of these ports is Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert. Trains travel in from Rio Tinto mines throughout the region, carrying around 80 million tonnes of iron ore per year into Cape Lambert for processing and ship loading.

At present, the port is undergoing an infrastructure upgrade that will see the transportation capacity of Cape Lambert port more than double by mid-2015.

An integral part of the of the overall upgrade is the “÷Sam’s Creek’ stormwater drainage lines, which run under the existing rail lines and allow the release of stormwater during the wet season. Any upgrades to these drainage lines needs to allow the existing rail lines above to stay in constant operation to maintain continual loading of ships.

The design of the new drainage culvert specified two rows of 2,100 mm internal diameter pipes at approximately 100 m long, each with an additional row of 2,100 mm internal diameter pipe for services.

Both the client and contractor were surprised to learn that the lead-time for HOBAS was substantially shorter than that of locally supplied concrete pipe. Given the tight timeframe for the project, the decision to use HOBAS was easy.

Tackling challenging projects

Executive Director Andy Holman of Global Pipe, Australia’s distributor of HOBAS pipe, said HOBAS CC-GRP jacking pipe is regularly selected to complete notoriously difficult projects due to its well established behaviour in pipe jacking and its very long asset life.

“HOBAS has been used internationally for over 30 years and is now the product of choice among the largest engineering companies in Europe and North America.

“The HOBAS centrifugal cast pipe uses patented technology to provide the most efficient, long-lasting and highest quality CC-GRP pipe currently in the world.

“The design has a 100+ year life span which means it can typically outperform old-world products such as concrete or steel in corrosive environments such as sewer systems,” Mr Holman said.

Machinery giant continues to grow

Since its inception, Vermeer has grown from a one-person operation to an international organisation that manufactures, distributes, sells and services a huge range of machinery. With over 110 dealerships worldwide, sales in excess of $US1 billion per annum and more than 2,000 manufacturing personnel, Vermeer continues to grow from strength to strength.

Today, Vermeer’s range of trenchless machinery is used on countless job sites across Australia and New Zealand. With machines that save time, save labour and offer superior performance in a wide range of applications, it’s little wonder they’ve proved so popular.

Vermeer’s machines combine innovative technology, hard-working designs and years of industry experience. The company’s products are backed by a worldwide support network that is among the best in the industrial trade.

Global strength with local support

Vermeer has the infrastructure to put people and machinery anywhere in the Asia Pacific region.

With dealerships strategically located in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Indonesia, Vermeer Australia is positioned to look after clients’ machinery requirements, bringing the best that Vermeer has to offer Down Under. The company has in recent years invested significantly to grow its presence in Australia, with the introduction of a Townsville dealership and expansion of operational resources across the east coast of Australia.

In addition to providing some of the highest quality equipment available in the market, Vermeer delivers top quality parts and service. Genuine Vermeer parts are manufactured to exacting specifications to help keep equipment running trouble free. Vermeer Australia also carry a huge range of consumable supplies and accessories from market leading supplies like Baroid Industrial Drilling Fluids and Sherrill Tree Care arborist supplies.

Vermeer workshop technicians undergo a continuous training program, designed to keep them up to date with the latest Vermeer machinery, and with their modern, crane equipped workshop facilities, no job is too big or small.

Pioneering trenchless technology and applications in Australasia

Peter Pullan has been Vermeer Australia’s Managing Director since 1989, bringing a comprehensive range of HDD rigs to the Australian market over the years.

In 1993 Vermeer Australia introduced the company’s HDD equipment into the market, when the Vermeer Navigator was imported.

According to Peter, some of the earliest projects Vermeer supplied equipment for were among the most rewarding.

“Looking back I think the early Optus telecommunications work was some of the most rewarding,” says Mr Pullan. “The industry was in its infancy and every day people were learning new procedures and techniques. The equipment was also developing rapidly at this stage – when the 24×40 and 16×20 hit town they just took off.”

Some of the main developments Mr Pullan has seen in the industry over the years relate to improvements in HDD technology. “Drill rigs are getting bigger without a huge increase in footprint. Also, drillers’ skill levels continue to improve and there is a thirst for knowledge amongst the professional drillers out there.”

Another exciting development introduced by Vermeer was the Vermeer AXIS guided boring system, a pit-launched trenchless installation method designed to achieve pinpoint, on-grade accuracy while eliminating some of the difficult steps associated with other installation techniques. A wide range of product pipe, sizing specifications, and other jobsite requirements can be met with the versatile capabilities of the AXIS system.

The AXIS system has been utilised in a number of Australian applications where it was chosen to meet keyhole pipeline installation requirements.

“Overall, the HDD industry has become more professional. The bores themselves have become longer, larger diameter and/or more complicated and requiring an even greater degree of precision, while drillers for the most part have risen to the levels of professionalism required by the clients.”

All in all, the future looks bright for the trenchless industry, according to Mr Pullan.

“I think we will see strong growth, particularly in auger boring and HDD, which are now becoming part of every designer’s tool kit.”

5 minutes with Pezzimenti Tunnelbore

The Pezzimenti name has been synonymous with pipeline construction in Australia since 1957 when Giuseppe Pezzimenti began primarily contracting to the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) for the construction of backlog sewers. Over the decades, as one of the leading contractors, Pezzimenti have laid thousands of metres of pipe by conventional pot and drive, open cut and tunnel methods.

Realising the need for greater accuracy beyond the available auger-boring machines of the day, in 1986 Giuseppe’s son Aurelio Pezzimenti designed, manufactured and commissioned the first version of the Pezzimenti Laserbore‰ã¢ Microtunnelling System, a laser-guided vacuum-extraction system designed for superior accuracy and reliability.

This was the first ever system of its type in Australia and the success of this development meant that total lines from manhole to manhole could be achieved with pin-point accuracy. This had a profound impact on the pipe laying industry and changed the way pipes were laid in Australia forever.

Today – Continuing to Lead the Industry

Today, having successfully delivered over 2,500 bores Australia-wide using the Pezzimenti Laserbore Microtunnelling System, Pezzimenti Tunnelbore has remained Australia’s premier microtunnelling company.

Based in Sydney, the Pezzimenti Tunnelbore team combine diverse and specialist engineering expertise with decades of microtunnelling experience. The company has worked alongside Australia’s leading infrastructure developers, completing several major infrastructure projects on time and building a reputation for exceeding the expectations of its stakeholders.

A strong focus on safety, environmental factors and continual improvement has seen Pezzimenti Tunnelbore’s technology go from strength-to-strength, and is now capable of delivering microtunnels:

  • Up to 300 m in length in a single drive;
  • In all diameters ranging from 300-3,000 mm;
  • Within +/- 10 mm accuracy up to distances of up to 150 m and +/- 40 mm up to 300 m now being standard achievements;
  • In a wide variety of ground conditions ranging from clay, sandstone and basalt;
  • In two different modes:
  • Pipe-Jacking / Sleeve Boring – all jacking pipes (concrete, GRP and Polycrete);

    Freeboring – in all self-supporting ground, removing the need for expensive encasing pipes;

  • In extremely environmentally sensitive locations, with minimal shaft sizes, typically 2 x 4 m.

Pezzimenti Tunnelbore is committed to providing the highest levels of quality, professionalism and standards of work. Combining its modern fleet of equipment with the company’s extensive experience and technical skills, Pezzimenti Tunnelbore has the capabilities and confidence to offer its clients cutting-edge services and solutions for even the most challenging projects.

When it comes to microtunnelling, you can be sure that Pezzimenti Tunnelbore is continuously breaking new ground.

For more information, visit

A tunnel of success; Pezzimenti Tunnelbore case studies

Concord West

Power distributors Ausgrid needed to cross the Main Northern Railway in New South Wales in two locations in order to extend their network of high voltage feeder lines. The two crossings were approximately 1 km apart and Railcorp required both crossings to be carried out during a weekend rail possession. Railcorp had scheduled a number of weekend possessions at approximately 12 week intervals throughout the year and Ausgrid set the rail crossings to be completed over the weekend Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March 2013. Ausgrid let the head contract to Dunmain, an accredited Level One Service Provider working in the electrical industry.

Dunmain completed the construction of both shafts ready for the establishment of the microtunnelling equipment on site and for the jacking frames to be concreted in by the Thursday. Due to the close proximity of the rail, only a few metres were drilled prior to the rail shutdown. The remaining works, 48 m of 900 mm and
30 m of 700 mm pipe jacking, were required to be completed during the shutdown, which was scheduled to start at midnight Friday and end midnight Sunday.

Breakthrough of 700 mm microtunnel

The night shift completed eight pipes by noon on Saturday and the next crew another four, achieving breakthrough at 5 pm on Saturday afternoon. The head was removed, rods retracted and the annular space grouted between the pipes and the microtunnel on the Sunday shift. The conduits were inserted and then grout encased on the few days following the weekend.

Breakthrough of 900 mm microtunnel

The 20 pipes were jacked in over the weekend, with work proceeding again on a 24-hour basis. Breakthrough occurred at 10.30 am on the Sunday. The head was removed, rods retracted and the annular space grouted between the pipes and the microtunnel on the Sunday shift during the shutdown as required. The conduits were inserted and then grout encased on the few days following the weekend.

Gosford under line crossing

Ausgrid required a high voltage power cable to cross under the main Northern Railway just north of Gosford, New South Wales, in order to provide an alternate power supply to consumers on the western side of the railway. One of the major facilities requiring the security of an alternative supply was Gosford hospital.

An interstate contractor arrived on site prior to the shutdown but needed to modify equipment before commencing drilling, losing valuable rail shutdown time on the Saturday morning. After 4 m of the total 66 m bore was completed, a mechanical failure of the equipment stopped all drilling on the Saturday morning of the rail shutdown. Pezzimenti Tunnelbore was called in to assist.

At the preparatory site meeting, arrangements were made to modify the shaft. The 10 m shaft was reduced to 6 m to provide working room. A program for completion was also developed.

Ausgrid were hopeful that due to the urgency of the works Railcorp would approve the microtunnelling to be complete under live rail traffic conditions.

Pezzimenti Tunnelbore proposed to work three 12-hour shifts for three consecutive days, a proposal was approved by Railcorp. Microtunnelling commenced by lunchtime on Friday 22 March and breakthrough occurred mid-morning Sunday 24 March 2013.

Joint venture to deliver first major construction for North West Rail Link

Under the $A1.15 billion Tunnel and Station Civil Works contract, the companies will construct twin 15 km tunnels, which will run between Bella Vista and Epping. These will be the longest rail tunnels ever built in Australia.

Four custom-made Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) will be used to construct the 6 m diameter tunnels, with the first of the TBMs to be in the ground by the end of next year.

The alliance expects to place orders for the TBMs in August 2013. The team is also gearing up for a proactive community engagement effort to limit disruption and inconvenience while providing information on the long term benefits of the project.

Work will start shortly to prepare the three major tunnelling sites at Bella Vista, Showground and Cherrybrook, with contract completion scheduled for first quarter 2017.

Read Trenchless Australasia’s top ten articles for 2012

Significant projects, events and company developments all helped to create the successful year for the trenchless industry that was 2012. Trenchless Australasia has compiled a selection of its most read articles for 2012, which highlight key issues and topics that have impacted the Australasian trenchless industry in 2012.

The contents include:

    • Innovation in watermains


    • Trenchless Live 2012 an industry success


    • How’s your pipe?


    • Close-fit lining of pressure pipelines


    • Pezzimenti Trenchless takes on tough jobs


    • A risky cure: Kembla Watertech & Sydney Water ASTT Award-winning project


    • ISCO industries opens new WA facility


    • CIPP powers into a new market


    • Epic tunnelling in the Blue Mountains


  • Back to the land Down Under.


Bulimba Creek Trunk sewer upgrade

Mr Medcalf will outline the significant challenges involved in the upgrade, particularly the location of the work within the flood zone of the Bulimba Creek and managing the installation of vitreous clay jacking pipes in soft ground conditions.

About the speaker

David Medcalf has over 20 years’ experience in tunnelling and underground construction. Starting on the Channel Tunnel in the UK, Mr Medcalf has worked on several prestigious projects, including the Jubilee Line extension on the London Underground, where he was responsible for construction under Pall Mall and under The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

On the Docklands Light Rail extension under the Thames, Mr Medcalf managed the installation of two EPBM drives under three bar of hydrostatic head with very little cover to the bed of the River Thames. Mr Medcalf currently works as Project Manager for John Holland.

Key-hole pipelining to Melbourne’s heart

Project Overview

  • Excavation contractor: Jayelle Pipelines
  • Microtunnelling contractor: Edge Underground
  • Pipe supplier: HOBAS, OD427 mm pipe

Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour is receiving a new, integrated precinct that includes housing and commercial buildings. The partnership owners of the project will be delivering “÷Dock Square’ – a new civic hub and community centre.

With the development of new high-rise buildings and apartments comes the need for new associated water and wastewater infrastructure to provide them with service. As part of these works, a new gravity sewer was installed that runs from the new wharf’s edge to the Collins Street end of Melbourne Docklands.

The Victoria Harbour Sewer Reticulation Project

The project was located in the Docklands, which construction contractors would readily recognise as being renowned for its water-saturated Coode Island silt. Additionally, the land was reclaimed in the early 1900s, and as a consequence the underground terrain contains miscellaneous debris from early establishment on the site. Any construction method chosen would have to not only keep the aboveground developments in pristine condition, but also contend with an installation 3 m below sea level through a pipe route with unknown obstacles.

Edge Underground was able to provide a solution to these difficult project constraints by the use of key-hole pipelining with microtunnelling. While an open-cut installation method would scar the terrain as adversely as open-heart surgery on a patient, key-hole pipelining could be likened to key-hole heart surgery, a safer, cleaner alternative.

Edge Underground Owner Stuart Harrison said “A trenched solution would have required constant dewatering of the trenches. Microtunnelling only required dewatering in the working shafts, generating cost-savings, and an ease of installation – not to mention serious time savings and minimal reinstatement.”

It would have posed a significant cost to treat and dispose of contaminated
soil. By using boring instead of open-cut, the project owners were given a solution that would greatly reduce the contamination in roughly the same installation time frame.

There are also a lot of services that currently run through the Docklands, so the project owner wanted to use a method that would bypass these services and could install underneath them without disrupting them or running
into them.

The right instruments

Edge Underground used the Vermeer AXIS Guided Boring system for the project. This system was the preferred option due to the complexity of installation. The gravity sewer had a small diameter of OD427 mm, collapsing below the water table marine silt.

Mr Harrison said “There was the very real potential of multiple and various obstructions requiring some unique drilling capabilities and minimal shaft sizes. We chose the AXIS package because it has a history of success in challenging ground conditions.”

All of the bores were installing HOBAS OD427 mm pipe, with the line lengths varying from 26-67 m in length.

Operating on a difficult patient

Mr Harrison said “The most challenging aspect of this project was the complexity of the ground. Very wet low-blow count marine silt combined with many obstructions, like timber pylons, concrete and brick structures, meant using some ingenuity with our equipment.

“We needed to set up for soft-wet conditions, which typically require closing the cutter-face. However, we still required serious cutting and removing capability, which requires opening the cutter-face and running aggressive cutter configurations that have serious extraction capacity. These are completely opposing configurations.

“With AXIS we have a soft ground head and a consolidated ground head, each of which can run a variety of cutter configurations. Over the first two lines we trialled two different combinations to assess the preferred method for the works. From Bore 3, the set-up remained constant.

“All bores were completed successfully; however, the last pipe of the first bore required resetting due to a loss of ground pressure. The typical accuracy was +/-10 mm,” said Mr Harrison.

In four of the six lines Edge Underground struck obstructions, with a total 15 timber pylons encountered, as well as many brick and concrete structures. All of the obstructions were drilled through without the need for any further excavation works.

Mr Harrison said “On numerous previous works in these conditions, the norm is to excavate and remove in order to complete the line. We believe the capabilities of the AXIS system to pass through obstructions are unparalleled.” Removal of obstructions via excavation has a very detrimental result on cost, timeframes and overall disruption to the project – the fact that this wasn’t required has meant great success for
the project.

Future outlook

The main line was completed by Edge, and the company are in negotiations to now complete further ancillary lines with the AXIS system. Contingency plans for the project were laid out, however, they were not required.

Breaking new ground in QLD

Tunnelcorp is a multi-disciplinary Trenchless Technology contractor operating throughout Australia and New Zealand, providing slurry and vacuum microtunnelling, pipe jacking, box culvert jacking, auger boring and canopy support pipe structure services.

Tunnelcorp’s current projects include two 1,500 mm inside-diameter microtunnels under two freeways in Brisbane for the Logan Water Alliance, 988 m of 1,400 mm gravity sewer,
18 manholes for Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) at Ipswich as well as a canopy support structure, and a 52 m long 7.8×4.6 m jacked-box culvert under a rail line in Gladstone for the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.

Box jacking in Gladstone

In Gladstone, 1,144 m of roof and floor canopy support bores have been completed and the box culvert jacking will commence mid-June 2013. Tunnelcorp has constructed a 6,000 tonne
jacking system incorporating
8×750 tonne rams with 1 m stroke powered by four electro/hydraulic power packs. Each 1.5 m long culvert segment weighs 60 tonnes with a completed jacked culvert weight of 2,080 tonnes.

Microtunnelling in Brisbane

Logan Water Alliance awarded a contract to Tunnelcorp to complete bores under two major freeways south of Brisbane. The scope includes the constructing launch and receival shafts, installing 1,500 mm inside diameter concrete jacking pipes 174 m and 180 m
long, installing 1,200 mm mild steel cement lined carrier pipe inside the encasing pipe, and grouting the annulus and backfilling the shafts.

Tunnelcorp chose to construct the launch shafts utilising segmental lined underslung Humes caisson sections due the shafts being located in a flood plain. During shaft construction, the area was flooded twice with water extending 1 m above ground level and the sealed shafts performed well. The receival shafts are constructed with sheet piles, with whalers located in an area less prone to flooding.

As at May 2013, the two launch shafts have been constructed and the bore under the M1 Freeway is in 90 m. Tunnelcorp’s particle size distribution recycling system is being used to recycle the slurry. The high plasticity clay with occasional sand lenses has created premature thickening of the slurry water, requiring the disposal of 30,000 litres
of slurry daily. In conjunction with Tunnelcorp’s mud suppliers, AMC Tunnelcorp has added additional additives to break-up the clay and floc the slurry tanks in an attempt to reduce slurry disposal costs and increase production. At the 90 m mark, a high speed centrifuge was also installed to reduce slurry disposal costs.

Tunnelcorp’s computer aided Herrenknecht AVN1500TB slurry microtunneller has consistently progressed in high plasticity clay at 20 mm per minute and the maximum deviation from line and grade has been 6 mm to-date. This is a reasonable production rate given a mixed ground head has been employed due to the possibility of striking rock under the M1 Freeway. Tunnelcorp expects to complete the project in September 2013 and is looking forward to its next challenge.

Microtunnelling comes to the rescue

With construction spending down at present, Pezzimenti Tunnelbore New South Wales Manager Jim Shooter says tendering prices are being driven lower and lower as companies compete fiercely for the work available.

Mr Shooter says “Companies are being forced to take on increased risk in order to win work and stay in business. Increasingly, some companies are taking on risk which they cannot manage, overstating the capabilities of the technology and hence the level of service they are offering”.

He warns project owners to be wary of this fact when selecting a contractor, and to be sure the selected contractor is capable of providing the services they lay claim to.

Taking over a challenging project

Recently Pezzimenti Tunnelbore received a call from a builder who was constructing a block of units. The owner required a bore to be completed for a
150 mm sewer main. The length was to be 75 m, with the bore designed 5.2m deep at the upstream end. At the downstream end, the 150 mm pipe would drain into an existing sewer manhole 3.4 m deep in the middle of a “÷T’ intersection. The plan was to drill directly into the base of the existing manhole, which would eliminate the need to open up the road.

When Pezzimenti Tunnelbore received the call from the builder, the project had already been attempted by another contractor but was unable to be completed using the previous company’s chosen method of trenchless installation.

In order to prepare the works for the first contractor, the builder had excavated a very large shaft in competent sandstone approximately 10 m long, 4 m wide and
6 m deep to accommodate the contractor’s machinery. The timing of the new sewer construction was critical, as the existing sewer ran directly through the block of land being developed. Construction of the units could not proceed until the old sewer was diverted through the new sewer. Completion of the new sewer was on the critical path for the entire development.

When Pezzimenti Tunnelbore was contracted, building work on the site had stopped, the previous contractor had run out of options, and the builder’s costs had escalated due to the delays incurred.

Moving to microtunnelling

Pezzimenti Tunnelbore inspected the site, decided against trying to recover the failed bore from the previous contractor, and suggested setting up a new launch shaft. Pezzimenti Tunnelbore advised the builder that they would complete the works by using the proven and established technique of laser guided microtunnelling. This technique was introduced into Australia by the Pezzimenti family of companies in the late 1980s. Laser guided microtunnelling has developed to the point where it has become routine to microtunnel up to
350 m in sandstone reliably and accurately.

Pezzimenti Tunnelbore was able to set up a 4×2 m shaft in the ramp previously excavated by the builder to get access to the much larger shaft required by the previous installation technology.

Mr Shooter said “The builder had the redesign approved, we established
on-site and work commenced. For a laser guided microtunnelling system, the bore was a very simple one. The drilling took just two days and the builder was visibly relieved when the microtunnelling head exited into the base of the existing manhole-spot on target. The PVC pipes were sliplined into the bore and the annular space grouted.”

Since that time Pezzimenti Tunnelbore have been requested to complete works on several other sites where again the initial contractor was unable to complete the works using a different technology.

Mr Shooter summarised by saying “The initial lowest price is not always the best value at the end of the project for the client.”

Pipe jacking for Yule pipeline

Over 25 km of mains will be replaced between South Hedland and the Yule Borefield to increase the amount of water that can be transferred into town.

A Water Corporation Spokesperson told Trenchless Australasia that the upgrade to the Yule pipeline involves around 60 m of pipe jacking, to cross the busy Great Northern Highway. This is being conducted by the corporation’s selected contractor, Ertech.

A second stage of the project will see the installation of three new bores and associated pipeworks at the Yule Borefield.

Work on the transfer main between the Yule Borefield and South Hedland began recently and upgrades to the borefield are expected to be complete by mid-2014.

The Yule Borefield will supply 10.5 billion litres of water to Hedland.

Call for tenders in Victoria and Queensland

Melbourne Water Manager of Capital Works Mike Filby said the project, which will require the use of a tunnel boring machine, will replace one of Melbourne’s oldest sewer networks that services over 85,000 properties in the city’s inner-northern suburbs.

“The original brick-lined sewer is over a century old and must be replaced to keep up with demand.

“The new main will service the area for the next 100 years and reduce the risk of blockages and sewage spills during extreme wet weather,” Mr Filby said.

The 2.7 km sewer will be built at depths of up to 21 m underground from Coate Park in Alphington to the Latrobe Golf Course.

It will connect to another section of sewer main being built near the Eastern Freeway in Kew that crosses the Yarra River into Alphington.

Melbourne Water said that construction techniques have been chosen to prioritise safety and minimise any impacts to the community and environment.

Expressions of interest will open on 5 June 2013 and close on 3 July 2013.

After the registration period has closed, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to submit a tender. A preferred contractor to be appointed later this year, with the project expected to start in early 2014.

To find out more contact Project Manager David Wright, at or visit the Melbourne Water website.

Cairns Regional Council is seeking applications from suitably experienced contractors for the provision of goods and/or services to undertake works on the council’s water and wastewater reticulation systems.

Applications will be considered for inclusion in the council’s Register of Pre-qualified Suppliers (ROPS).

Works carried out under the ROPS may include construction of new infrastructure, modification/repair/refurbishment of existing infrastructure, or temporary works.

The provision of these goods and/or services to Council are required to meet organisational activities, maintenance, new installations, emergency works, major and minor projects and remedial works, including works that the council may undertake for other entities.

The contract may include works on the following:

    Gravity Systems

  • Gravity sewer mains and manholes;
  • HCBs and property connection sewers; and
  • Structures, siteworks and other appurtenances associated with any of the above.

Pressure Systems

  • Pressure mains, including: potable water; recycled water; pressure sewers; sewage pump station rising mains; vacuum sewerage system mains
  • Water supply service connections;
  • Irrigation mains for potable water or recycled water; and
  • Structures, siteworks and other appurtenances associated with any of the above.

Applications are due by 4.30 pm on 18 June 2013.

For more information click here.

Mackay Regional Council has called for tenders for the Kenny’s Road Sewer Augmentation, to take place in Mackay, Queensland.

The work comprises the installation of approximately 525 m of new gravity sewer main, including manholes, and the diversion of two existing rising main sections.

Submissions close 10 am 18 June 2013.

More information can be found here.

Key appointments for trenchless company

ITS Trenchless has appointed Peter Jarvis to the newly-created position of National Sales and Marketing Manager to help implement its strategic growth plan. The company has also signalled its intent to grow business in Western Australia, with the opening of a new office in Perth and the appointment of Cory Higgins as Regional Manager Western Australia.

Mr Jarvis has spent more than 30 years in sales and marketing and is an expert in business best practices and aligning organisations with their customers and the market trends.

Mr Higgins will lead the company’s endeavors to serve customers in Western Australia’s thriving market. The launch of the Perth office comes in response to demand for ITS’s products and services in Western Australia to help increase the performance of ageing assets and infrastructure, and will particularly benefit customers in the more remote areas of the state.

Mr Higgins brings a broad range of knowledge gained with over 23 years working in the trenchless civil and pipeline rehabilitation industry. His experience covers a wide range of rehabilitation technologies including microtunnelling, pipe bursting, directional drilling and structural relining. Mr Higgins has successfully owned and managed a number of trenchless relining companies, both in Australia and overseas.

Industry leaders get behind No-Dig Down Under

HOBAS, stand 36

HOBAS CC-GRP pipe was recently utilised in a tunnel boring project in Queensland that will carve out a new sewer for the region. The project involves the installation of 5.2 km of HOBAS pipe as new trunk sewer main that will increase the capacity of the Woolloongabba sewerage system to cater for development and population growth in the area. Read more about this project, and Hobas’ involvement, here.

Interflow, stand 30

Over the past year, Interflow has completed cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) projects worth over $A10 million lining ovoid sewers in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. CIPP liners have ranged from the largest sizes available in Australia – the 1,300 mm x 990 mm liner for Hunter Water – through to 355 mm x 255 mm liners installed for several water authorities. Read more about Interflow’s recent projects here.

Kembla Watertech, stand 49

Leading pipeline renewal specialist Kembla Watertech recently undertook a project to renew a major stormwater pipeline running through Biggera Creek Flood Detention Basin on the Gold Coast, which was a first for Kembla’s experienced spiral wound lining team. The technology chosen to renew this pipe was Kembla’s Spiral Wound Pipe Sliplining (SWP SL) process. Read more about how they did it here.

Vermeer, stand 50

Vermeer’s AXIS guided boring system was recently used to install part of the new Yarra Park Water Recycling Facility just outside the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The facility’s design and build operator chose the Vermeer AXIS in order to achieve pinpoint, on-grade installation accuracy with minimum site visibility and minimal environmental impacts. Read more about the project here.

Expand your trenchless knowledge at No-Dig Down Under 2013

The ISTT and ASTT are collaborating to bring the latest technical innovations and high-profile speakers from the international trenchless industry to Sydney for four days of professional development and networking.

With over 70 per cent of the three streamed technical program comprised of international speakers, No-Dig Down Under 2013 will cover a vast range of topics related to Trenchless Technology, from practical rehabilitation and installation techniques, through to use for social, economic and environmental benefit.

Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from speakers from 18 different countries and will be able to:

  • Learn about the most reliable techniques for the installation and rehabilitation of infrastructure used all over the world
  • Learn how Trenchless Technology can be used to reduce CO2 emissions and environmental impacts
  • Hear case studies from experts on microtunnelling
  • Discover how you can implement horizontal directional drilling for best project outcomes
  • Discover the best techniques for the renovation of small and large diameter drains and pipes
  • Find out how to reduce whole-of-project costs
  • Learn how to reduce OH&S risks to workers
  • Come face-to-face with over 120 exhibitors displaying the latest in equipments and services
  • Capitalise on the international platform by developing and growing global partnerships.

Robbins carves into the Down Under market

A new Robbins office, opened in the last quarter of 2012, is providing coverage for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and Indonesia. The subsidiary, Robbins Asia Pacific, joins a second Asia Pacific office based in Hong Kong.

“Australia is a market with a lot of potential, not only in the civil sector but also in the mining sector, particularly for coal and precious metals,” said Robbins Vice President of Sales Doug Harding.

The office is based in Brisbane and headed by General Manager Martin Rauer, who has over 13 years of experience in the tunnelling industry in both manufacturing and contracting firms.

While sales is the main function of the subsidiary, field service, project management, spare parts services, and other types of support will be added as market share increases.

“Customers will benefit from faster response times and more extensive local assistance and communication,” said Mr Harding.

The office will also provide regional support for two new Robbins projects in Australia, both for use in mine development tunnels. Later in 2013, an 8.0 m diameter hybrid earth pressure balance (EPB) machine will be launched on the Grosvenor Decline Tunnel at the Anglo-American Coal Mine. The 1 km tunnel, at a grade of 1:6, will require an explosion proof machine design for excavation in mixed ground with possible pockets of methane gas. In early 2014, a 5.83 m diameter Robbins Main Beam Tunnel Boring Machine will excavate the Carrapateena Decline tunnel for the Oz Minerals copper and gold mine in southern Australia.

Within the next five years, the subsidiary aims to further mine development using tunnel boring machines, and to increase sales for both hard rock and EPB machines.

Cora the Tunnel Borer carves through QLD

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) was lowered 11 m underground as part of Queensland Urban Utilities’ (QUU) $A80 million Woolloongabba Sewer Upgrade Project. The project involves the installation of 5.2 km of HOBAS pipe as new trunk sewer main that will increase the capacity of the Woolloongabba sewerage system to cater for development and population growth in the area.

The upgrade project will ensure the long-term sustainability of sewerage services for around 50,000 properties in the Woolloongabba catchment.

The project will be carried out by approximately 100 personnel and will involve the construction of six new sewer lines and 37 access shafts. QUU said that current sewer pipes in Woolloongabba are approximately 80 years old.

QUU Chief Executive Officer Louise Dudley said “This trenchless method was chosen as it limits the impact on the community, making it ideal for use in heavily urbanised areas, such as Woolloongabba.

“As part of the Woolloongabba upgrade project, TBMs will install pipes as large as 1.4 m in diameter up to 17 m underground,” Ms Dudley said.

Involving the community

Ms Dudley saw the project as an ideal opportunity to engage East Brisbane State School students in a large-scale project so close to their school.

“On the surface, it might seem like nothing is happening but under the ground the boring machines will be making their way through Woolloongabba,” Ms Dudley said.

Around 90 children in grades one, two and three (ages six to nine) at East Brisbane State School took part in a competition to name and choose the colours of the first tunnel boring machine to be used in the project.

Ms Dudley said “We had our contractor, John Holland, paint newly named “÷Cora the Tunnel Borer’ in the colours that reflected the winning entry. This was a novel way of involving children in the project and introducing them to the concept of how pipes are installed underground.”

The first part of the project will take place in stages along Stanley Street and is expected to take up to 14 months.

Progress to date

Cora the Tunnel Borer took twelve days to tunnel underground for 61 m from an access site to a receive shaft, both on Stanley Street, Woolloongabba.

Tunnelling has commenced from the access shaft outside East Brisbane State School to the temporary receival shaft on Stanley Street, between Longlands Street and Fisher Street.

Construction is continuing, with work sites established on the corner of Gibbon Street and Stanley Street, at the Caswell Street Pump Station property and within vacant area between Stanley Street and Pacific Motorway on ramp.

In January 2013 investigative work commenced in ten locations within Woolloongabba and Stones Corner. The investigations seek to locate ground services to plan for future works, and includes core drilling and saw cutting into the asphalt, followed by minor excavation work.

The upgrade is part of QUU’s $A3.35 billion, ten year capital works program.

Journey-man returns home

Mr Harrison began his career in his father’s excavation company, and was involved in the installation of sewer and water pipelines for more than 25 years using various open-cut and trenchless methods.

In 1999 he took the opportunity to start a trenchless division of his father’s company and by late 2000 he began importing and testing numerous international microtunnelling machines, none of which seemed to fill the need for Trenchless Technology in gravity sewers. He discovered that none of these methods combined pinpoint accuracy with productivity, and so began developing his own trenchless solution, a vacuum microtunnelling system.

Two years later, his patented guided boring system was born and Mr Harrison started his own contracting company. Over the next three years, Mr Harrison’s company built five units and successfully installed several hundred thousand feet of sewer and water lines using the new technology. After many prototypes and modifications, by 2005 he felt that he had created a worthwhile product, at which point he started travelling to assess the system capabilities in the world market. It became obvious that the technology had a valid place in the world market.

In 2006, Mr Harrison met with Vermeer Corporation about the technology and they reached an agreement for Vermeer to acquire his patented technology. Over the next three years, Vermeer worked to refine the technology and bring the AXIS guided boring system to market.

Award-winning in the True North

By the end of 2009, the technology now know as the Vermeer AXIS Guided Boring system was launched at the international No-Dig in Toronto, Canada, where it won the Innovative New Product award.

In 2009, Mr Harrison started Edge Underground, predominantly working in Australia after first commencing in the US. Edge Underground provides microtunnelling, pipe jacking, thrust boring and laser tunnel boring services, with the aim of offering precision installations and innovative, efficient solutions.

Speaking on the importance of innovation, Mr Harrison said “We constantly see the progression of technology which means we do it better, faster and more often. The fear factor of trenchless is reducing as the knowledge of the industry grows. We have more options available to us, such as the kind of pipe and equipment we use, and we definitely have the big guys taking notice – CAT, Komatsu – as validation of our industry’s future.

“The most important things I have learnt about the trenchless industry are: always reduce risk i.e. spend the money up front, be honest about the risks and plan with contingencies, only do it if you are passionate about it (it shows), refer a job rather than overstate your capabilities, do everything the best you can – consistency is the key.”

Following the launch of his product, Mr Harrison led major demonstrations and customer training worldwide. Edge Underground was established in the US initially to fill the market void. Many of Edge Underground’s projects in this period were the subject of papers and presentations at industry events.

Breaking new ground

From 2008 through to the end of 2011 Mr Harrison was thoroughly involved with the AXIS Guided Boring System, including R&D testing, contractor validation, consulting to numerous engineering consultancy firms and direct to cities and start-ups with companies like BRH Garver and Midwest Mole; SSC Boring in the US and Avertex and RocSol in Canada. Mr Harrison noted the valuable experiences he has gained from working with other companies.

Mr Harrison said “Working on projects with Midwest Mole – whether they be as an AXIS expert trainer or as a joint venture with Edge – the opportunity to work with the best and share our visions has been truly refreshing and totally enlightening.
I love taking on tough projects with other passionate, innovative parties.”

In 2012, the company undertook multiple major projects in a wide variety of conditions, including sand, silt, clay, shale, rock and mixed, for multiple major contractors including Thiess, John Holland and Abi Group, as well as many smaller contractors on the east coast of Australia, such as PVC, Steel, HOBAS and HDPE.

“From below water table sand and silt to 250 Mpa rock and everything in between, we have tested and whilst there are conditions I try to avoid – these conditions are getting fewer,” Mr Harrison said.

Advice for industry

Recently Mr Harrison has travelled frequently to the US and Europe and has been a key speaker at industry events. He sees a well-rounded approach as the attitude that will drive the trenchless industry into the future.

“Initially I focussed on equipment, however the progression is reliant on a total package solution as it is the accumulated total of many factors that is increasing the success of the industry.

“Initially the philosophy was trenchless as a last resort and slowly but surely we are seeing trenchless as the first choice – the true costs are starting to be recognised.

“As more options become available, whether that be equipment, materials or supplies – trenchless companies are better equipped to reduce their risk and so improve the success ratio.”

Whether it be pipe jacking, free boring or pulling pipe back in a wide range of conditions, Mr Harrison believes his company is packed with knowledge, experience and desire.

“When looking for a contractor I believe the focus needs to be capability-based as the cost of trenchless failures gives everyone involved a black eye. We all need to look to reduce risk in order to increase success. If the risks cannot be mitigated then all parties must be aware,” he explains.

The man behind the machine

Mr Harrison is based in Clyde in Melbourne’s outer south-east. Currently he continues to develop equipment in conjunction with Vermeer Corporation and is constantly looking to increase microtunnelling capabilities. He is married with three young boys of three, six and eleven-months, coaches Auskick and also supports Variety Australia. Aside from his family commitments, he continues to run Edge Underground.

Mr Harrison has travelled the world for six years as a microtunnelling expert working on equipment research and development and trouble shooting. Within Australia he has been a pioneer within the microtunnelling industry for over a decade.

Robbins carves into the Down Under market

A new Robbins office, opened in the last quarter of 2012, is providing coverage for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and Indonesia. The subsidiary, Robbins Asia Pacific, joins a second Asia Pacific office based in Hong Kong.

“Australia is a market with a lot of potential, not only in the civil sector but also in the mining sector, particularly for coal and precious metals,” said Robbins Vice President of Sales Doug Harding.

The office is based in Brisbane and headed by General Manager Martin Rauer, who has over 13 years of experience in the tunnelling industry in both manufacturing and contracting firms.
While sales is the main function of the subsidiary, field service, project management, spare parts services, and other types of support will be added as market share increases.

“Customers will benefit from faster response times and more extensive local assistance and communication,” said Mr Harding.

The office will also provide regional support for two new Robbins projects in Australia, both for use in mine development tunnels. Later in 2013, an 8.0 m diameter hybrid earth pressure balance (EPB) machine will be launched on the Grosvenor Decline Tunnel at the Anglo-American Coal Mine. The 1.0 km tunnel, at a grade of 1:6, will require an explosion proof machine design for excavation in mixed ground with possible pockets of methane gas. In early 2014, a 5.83 m diameter Robbins Main Beam Tunnel Boring Machine will excavate the Carrapateena Decline tunnel for the Oz Minerals copper and gold mine in southern Australia.

Within the next five years, the subsidiary aims to further mine development using tunnel boring machines, and to increase sales for both hard rock and EPB machines.

Trenchless services sought in NSW

Sydney Water is seeking a professional services contractor to deliver the design, technical specifications and related services for timely renewal of stormwater assets.

The broad scope of work involves the renewal of 3.85 km of stormwater assets and building 42 new maintenance holes.

The tender documents are available for purchase and downloading from Sydney Water’s tendering website.

The tender closes on Thursday 28 March 2013 at 9.30 am.

For further details see the tender listing.

Sydney Water has released another tender, for horizontal drilling and microtunnelling services, closing on 21 March 2013 at 9:30 am.

The tender involves construction of rising main SP0614 (Smeaton Grange) and wastewater pipeline from SP1045 (Tahmoor) using directional drilling, horizontal boring and microtunnelling.

A mandatory pre-tender site inspection will be conducted at Smeaton Grange and Tahmoor on 7 March 2013.

Prospective tenderers are advised to email {encode=”” title=””} for details of the site inspection location.

See the listing for further details.

Pezzimenti Trenchless hits the road

Pezzimenti Trenchless has recently expanded into new territories, tackling a microtunnelling project in the hard rocks of Hobart and installing pipe under one of the busiest roads in Adelaide.

Pezzimenti Trenchless was recently awarded a bore in Salamanca Place, Hobart, for Water Industry Solutions and Southern Water. The job involved a 36 m bore under Salamanca Place, Hobart’s oldest and most important tourist and cultural region.

A 225 mm PVC pipe was installed as part of the Salamanca Place pump station relocation works.

Ground conditions encountered were Jurassic Dolerite, a volcanic basalt type rock that covers over a third of Tasmania.

“They were probably the hardest rock conditions that we have taken on, but we still averaged 12 m per day using our 440 mm diameter basalt microtunnelling head,” said Pezzimenti Trenchless Director Joe Pezzimenti.

Mr Pezzimenti said the company looks forward to taking on the challenge of new projects in Tasmania in the future.

Pipe jacking in South Australia

The company was also successfully awarded a boring contract in South Australia for Camco Engineering and Construction and the City of West Torrens.

The bore involved pipe jacking an 800 mm Humes Jacking Pipe under one of Adelaide’s busiest thoroughfares, SouSouth Road, Mile End. To perform the installation in this highly sensitive area, the company utilised its 1,050 mm microtunnelling head.

The 30 m length bore was completed within the same week of arriving on-site.

“We see some huge potential with our microtunnelling system in South Australia, and look forward to working with authorities and contractors in the future,” said Mr Pezzimenti.

Trenchless Civil steps in

Trenchless Civil, a new face on the Australian trenchless scene, has the capability to install pipelines in sizes up to DN2,500 mm in variable ground conditions. Trenchless Civil has the backing and resources of a major Australian Civil Contracting Group.

Laverton Creek Drainage Scheme

Trenchless Civil is constructing a major floodway for Melbourne Water as part of the Laverton Creek Drainage Scheme. This includes pipe jacking seven DN1,650 mm concrete pipe culverts under the Melbourne-Ballarat rail corridor, operated by V/Line. Each culvert is 50 m in length, running parallel within 1 m of each other. The depth to pipe crown below the railway is approximately 5 m.

The geology consists mainly of high-strength to extremely high-strength basalt with occasional gravel and clay bands, requiring a tunnel boring machine (TBM) with closed face capacity. Trenchless Civil is utilising its MTS slurry TBM with earth pressure balance (EPB) capability, with the addition of a rock cutterhead that has been manufactured specifically to suit the anticipated geology. The system is proving highly successful with average advance rates of over 30 mm per minute achieved. Cutter wear has also been limited with cutter changes occurring after every second tunnel drive.

Trenchless Civil has liaised closely with V/Line throughout the project. The rail corridor being worked under enables high speed transport between two major Victorian centres, and therefore it is vital this service is not disrupted. As an added precaution, pipe jacking under the rail lines has been undertaken outside train operating hours. Stringent survey monitoring has confirmed no settlement of the tracks has occurred due to the tunnelling operation.

The successful running of the project has enabled each bore to be completed within a week and the tunnelling component of this project is anticipated for completion in early December 2012. Remaining works to construct concrete headwalls and finish floodway excavation are due for completion in April 2013.

Timbertop Outfall Sewer Project

Trenchless Civil has recently commenced works associated with the Timbertop Outfall Sewer Project for South East Water in Officer, Victoria. This project requires the installation of approximately 1,500 m of HOBAS sewer pipe of size DN300 to DN550 mm, with individual bore lengths of 130 m. Shallow grades of 1:500 along the alignment consisting of saturated sandy clays are expected to provide challenging conditions for the project.

A second pipe jacking frame has been fabricated specifically for this project, enabling the non-restrained joint HOBAS pipes to be pushed from the retrieval shaft as the drill rods are removed from the launch shaft. This is essential to maintain the integrity of the pipe string, given the possibility of ground collapse throughout the alignment.

New investments

Trenchless Civil has also recently invested in a Vermeer Axis guided boring unit, capable of installing on-grade pipelines to DN600 via vacuum extraction technology. Bores of up to 150 m in length can be achieved whilst maintaining exacting tolerances, through a variety of ground conditions from hard rock to saturated sands.

Book your social ticket to 2013

Renowned international trenchless experts and thought-leaders have set their sights on Sydney for the trenchless event of 2013, the joint ISTT-ASTT No-Dig, taking place 1-4 September. Secure your registration to the international show now!

Build your network

Greet old friends and introduce yourself to new faces at the causal-styled opening exhibition cocktails, talk shop and see the beautiful Sydney Harbour on a luxurious evening cruise, and support and congratulate your industry at the black-tie styled Gala Dinner and Awards Evening.

Conference social events provide an opportunity to talk to international experts, project owners, leading contractors and equipment experts, allowing you to build a network to draw upon during your professional career.

About the conference

The Sydney Convention Centre will stage four days of industry development, including a three-streamed technical program led by trenchless pioneers and international experts; a super-sized exhibition hall displaying the most advanced and proven no-dig solutions on the market and; world-class social events to provide a relaxed environment to develop business partnerships and build knowledge-networks.

ISTT No-Dig 2013 Event Partners and Sponsors.

Sunshine State embraces no-dig solutions

UEA Trenchless recently completed a pilot tube microtunnelling project under a major retail store in Aspley, Queensland.

A guided boring machine (GBM) was used in conjunction with an auger boring system to complete the 90 m, 450 mm diameter bore under the retail store. The bore allowed retrofitted electrical infrastructure to be linked via the shortest possible route.

The accuracy of the GBM pilot enabled installation of the NB450 steel sleeve to the exact location required, eliminating the use of oversize pipe to allow for adjustment of the conduit.

Pilot tube microtunnelling has offered far reduced disruption to the retailer, as well as proving accurate and cost effective, as it avoided any clash with a new multilevel car park development under construction and allowed trading to continue.

UEA has also begun construction on a design and construct pipe bursting contract in South East Queensland.

UEA were contracted in November 2012 to replace 1,100 m of 150 mm diameter asbestos concrete pipe and PVC sewer rising main with 250 mm PE pipe using pipe bursting technology.

With the design phase now complete, the program of works is on target to have the pipe bursting completed by early February, with restoration, testing and commissioning complete by mid-late February.

Pipe bursting provides major benefits in this project as it limits contact with the existing asbestos pipe, as excavation is only required approximately every 110 m.

Tunnelling Contractor of the Year

John Holland was named Tunnelling Contractor of the Year for the Northern Sewerage Project in Melbourne.

John Holland has completed several successful Australian projects in the past year, including its work on the Northern Sewerage Project and Main Sewer Replacement Project in Melbourne, both of which came in below budget and ahead of program.

The judges said “John Holland has emerged as a key force in the tunnelling contracting world this year, particularly through its successful delivery of challenging, high profile projects in Australia. lts work on both the Northern Sewerage Project and Main Sewer Replacement Project in Melbourne – both below budget and delivered ahead of time – has cemented its position as the go-to contractor in the region. Working in joint venture, it has also delivered outstanding performance on the Brisbane Airport Link and is increasingly the “÷one to watch’ when it comes to complex tunnelling.”

Other shortlisted companies included:

  • Taylor Woodrow/Bam Nuttall JV
  • Bouygues CivilWorks Florida
  • Fletcher Construction
  • Obayashi Corporation
  • Thiess.

The Awards are endorsed by the International Tunnelling Association and reward innovation in the global tunnelling industry.