ASN to deploy submarine cable

ASN will partner with Orange Marine and Axians for the project that will create a new system to complement the existing Gondwana cable between Noumea and Sydney.

The new cable will be designed to avoid any service interruption or internet disruption by securing all New Caledonia’s communications and enabling the Loyalty Islands and Isle of Pines to have access to high speed broadband.

Orange Marine will be responsible for the deep-sea survey and submarine cable installation, while Axians will be in charge of environmental studies, shore-end to the eight landing stations and the civil works for all stations along with land cable pulling.

ASN has deployed almost all submarine systems within the region and will build on this extensive experience in the South Pacific.

The company and its two project partners anticipate the project will be in service by early 2022.

For more information visit the ASN website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at

Water under the bridge in Vietnam

The Van Don district in the north-east of Vietnam belongs to the province Quang Ninh, located approximately 150 km east of Hanoi. The province is home to Hạ Long Bay, a World Heritage site with 1,969 islands.

In this sensitive landscape, network operator Quang Ninh Water Company (QUAWACO) operates a DN 300 steel water main located underneath and inside a bridge construction to supply Van Don Island with drinking water. The three bridges have individual lengths of 410 m, 170 m and 270 m.

The steel pipes were originally installed in 2002 with the construction of the bridges, while corrosion and water quality security induced the water network operator to undertake preventative maintenance.

The goal of the renovation works was to elongate the life span of the pipes and secure the water supply. Due to its difficult access and a desire to quickly upgrade the existing pipe, the Primus Line® system was the preferred method.

As the first deployment of the Primus Line system in Vietnam, the liner’s use was the idea of QUAWACO’s Chairman Nguyen Van Thanh, who was first introduced to the trenchless rehabilitation technology at Vietwater 2018 where he met Primus Line’s Australian representative.

At the time, the Australian and Vietnam Water Association had begun a twinning program and Vietwater was a central platform for knowledge sharing. In order to install the Primus Line system, only a small investment in the necessary tools was required.

Additionally, a Primus Line instructor performed a local training for the contractor in two working days and, during the same week, the contractor renovated the first bridge under this instructor’s supervision.

QUAWACO proactively manage the water supply in its region and has reduced the non-revenue water rate below 18 per cent over the past couple of years.

The Primus Liner was delivered on timber transport reels directly to the site.

The process

To begin, the host pipe was CCTV inspected to assess its condition,, and this inspection revealed several areas where incorrect welding seams were protruding into the cross-section of the pipe. The individual pipe shots were butt-welded and, due to the complex accessibility of the steel pipe underneath the bridges and inside a box girder, the contractor’s team removed the welding seams manually.

The contractor performed mechanical cleaning of the host pipe using scrappers and rubber pigs as the 840 m of liner was delivered pre-folded into U-shape on timber transport reels directly to the site.

The contractor mounted a pulling wire to the start of the liner and connected it to a rotation joint and subsequently to the cable of a pulling winch, allowing the liner installation to take less than one hour for each section.

Afterwards, it was re-rounded with compressed air before the contractor’s installation team finally mounted the end fittings equipped with DIN flanges PN 10. The renovated section was successfully pressure-tested using potable water with 9 bar and the pipe was reintegrated into the network using HDPE pipe shots.

The whole renovation was completed after three weeks and extended the asset’s life by 50 years, therefore securing both the water quality and supply.

This article was featured in the June 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the Primus Line website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at

KOR shows support for Italian partner

Headquartered in Victoria, KOR has partners based all over the world including Italy-based supplier Cappellotto.

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, KOR has created a video with well-wishes to its partner overseas who are at the forefront of the pandemic.

“We’re thinking of you at this moment at Cappellotto,” the video said.  

During the video, members of the KOR team send support to Cappellotto, noting the company’s trucks are still getting good use in Australia.

KOR also assures Cappellotto that both companies will “get through this together”, saying it will continue to support Cappellotto in any way it can, both now and when COVID-19 subsides.

For more information visit the KOR website.

If you have company news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Head of Production Chloe Jenkins at

generic water pipe image

Electro Scan trials technology in Australia

Sydney Water is wholly owned by the New South Wales government and manages an area of 12,870km2, including the management and operation of 22,342 km of drinking water mains and 26,169 km of sewer mains.

Electro Scan’s Focused Electrode Leak Location (FELL) technology was used to evaluate these sewer mains ranging from 150 mm to 400 mm (6–16 inch) diameters, including clay, cured-in-place lined pipe (CIPP), earthenware, plastic and Rib-Loc spiral wound lined pipes.

Traditionally, water utilities rely on high resolution cameras and visual inspection to manually access defects or use pressure tests on existing and new pipe installations which may falsely measure water tightness.

Sydney Water Senior Engineer Jerry Sunarho was responsible for coordinating the project trial using the new technology that would mitigate these risks.

“We will use the findings from this trial to see if we can improve the way we test our new and rehabilitated pipelines and prioritise our repair strategies for existing wastewater pipelines,” said Mr Sunarho.

Electro Scan CEO and Founder Chuck Hansen said the company was delighted to be invited to Australia to demonstrate the features and benefits of its patented low voltage conductivity.

Data from the project trial was automatically processed in the field with results accessible in minutes on Electro Scan’s cloud-based Critical Sewers® application.

All work for Sydney Water was completed in accordance with ASTM F2550-13 (2018).

For more information visit the Electro Scan website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Head of Production Chloe Jenkins at

The proof is in the pulling

Kobus is a pipe replacement expert known for its innovative pipe pulling techniques and equipment that is applicable across the water, gas and other service pipe sectors. Originally a UK company with a recently opened facility in Michigan, US, Kobus is now offering its Pipe Puller product range to customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Ageing water infrastructure is a challenge faced by countless cities across the world, with a rise in leakage and failing pipes creating difficulty for water companies to consistently deliver a clean, quality resource. Although leak detection is a growing field, pipe rehabilitation is a necessary solution when infrastructure begins to fail and Kobus Inc. has continued to develop its high-value methods in this area.

Why pipe pulling? 

Trenchless pipe pulling approaches aren’t new, but they do offer some major new advantages, and the technology offers utility companies innovation that is demanded, as well as reduced cost compared to other methods such as open cut excavation. Pipe pulling also minimises the risk of utility strikes as it extracts an existing pipe and then tows the new pipe in along the borehole created by the extracted pipe. 

Using the pathway of the old pipe as described creates less overall impact on the surrounding ground conditions and the technique can be adopted in very soft or rocky ground, as well as inclines, offering an alternative when moling is less effective. Additionally, by pulling the decommissioned pipe from the ground the potential for environmental waste is eliminated, while the old pipe can potentially be recycled or sold for scrap.

In an area where operations need to be as condensed as possible, such as a residential or high-density metropolitan zone, pipe can be pulled in space as small as 0.5 by 0.5 m. This further reduces costs as well as the impacts on the day-to-day lives of citizens.

The Kobus Pipe Puller

The KPP400 has been very well received in North America since it debuted, with the company now supplying the product to Australia and New Zealand based customers. 

The product is an all-in-one unit specifically designed for ease when moving around the job site. The machine can be mounted on most types of 35/45 series compact excavators including Bobcat, John Deere and CAT, and the puller generates 27,000 kg driven from the auxiliary hydraulics of the excavator. 

The KPP400 can replace lead, galvanised iron, copper or poly pipe and can tow in new copper or polyethylene pipe in a single operation. The Pipe Puller is relatively inexpensive in capital equipment terms and, while a machine such as this does require consumables on each pipe replacement, maintenance costs are kept to a minimum as the design is largely maintenance free. 

With a huge number of pipe repairs required throughout major cities along with the time, disruption and cost of traditional methods, equipment users will save significant amounts of money and effort per replacement, allowing for quicker returns on any machinery investments.

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

For more information visit the Kobus website.

If you have a project you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Head of Editorial Chloe Jenkins at

Contractor tips excavator attachment for great things

Within Buller District Council’s almost 8,600 km2 jurisdiction is Westport, the second largest city on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The town is home to around 5,000 residents who rely on the Westport Water Supply for their water services.

The original supply was opened in 1903, after four hand dug tunnels and timber water races were constructed between the south branch of Giles Creek, where raw water reservoirs were located. The gravity system was before its time, comprising a series of tunnels with a gradient that allowed water to flow naturally, but without scouring when the volume of water increased during rain.

Despite the system being recently upgraded to include a water treatment plant, the network is largely the same as that which has been supplying the town for more than 100 years; however, tunnel collapses in 2000 and 2009 forced short-term solutions and the council decided it was time for a permanent fix.

Westport Water Tunnel Pipeline Project was originally designed as an overland pipeline before contactor Hadlee & Brunton proposed a trenchless alternative, which was subsequently favoured by the council. Key to the company’s solution was the use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to reline the collapsed tunnel 1 with a steel pipeline using the latest in technology and equipment.

Tunnels 2 and 3 would then be piped with polyethylene (PE) similar to what was used in tunnel 4, when it was rehabilitated after collapse in 2009.

Safety at the forefront

While Hadlee & Brunton’s trenchless solution avoided the need for tunnel entry while installing the pipeline, a myriad of dangers still existed on the HDD worksite, including the handling of pipe lengths.

Director David Brunton says the company had tried every option under the sun for handling PE before using the Utility Innovations Services (UIS) Power Handler™, the revolutionary excavator attachment changing the way large pipes and ducts are handled on and off site.

Renowned for being safe, fast and easy to use, the UIS Power Handler gives the excavator operator full 360° control of the pipe, removing the need for strops and chains, eliminating the potential risks from manual handling and providing a safer and more effective way to handle pipe.

The product is capable of withstanding even the toughest pipelaying and handling environments, and is suitable for all types of pipe from 250 mm to 900 mm, including PE, steel, PVC and concrete.

“We have been working in periods of torrential rain in bushland, but with the Power Handler we’ve been moving lengths of STR 11 pipe, which is about 70 mm thick and weighs about 1.6 t,” says Mr Brunton.

“In these conditions, PE gets slippery very quickly, but using the handler has been excellent. It usually takes about half an hour to an hour to get a feel for it, but at that point and we can move pipes on a dime.”

Mr Brunton says preferencing a product that is safer and easier to use is a no brainer.

“From a safety aspect alone, the Power Handler is just incredible,” he says.

“The pipe welders and the rest of the construction team are absolutely wrapped because it’s safe. The ability to package straight up with the boom and just lift it up over bush or other obstacles is amazing, and just whipping it around you know it’s completely safe there are no issues.

“Whereas when using a strop, trying to lift on forks, or unloading a truck with a like an excavator or telehandler, if you get a little bit of angle on the ground and some moisture the pipe will just slide. With the Power Handler you know it’s got the pipe and there’s no worries.”

Industry standard

Mr Brunton has been so impressed with the performance and reliability of the product that he predicts the Pipe Handler will become standard in the industry before too long.

“I recommend it to anyone in the industry,” he says.

“I think it will actually become a standard. When people see how it performs on work sites, it won’t take long for it to become a recommendation that they should be on a site when you see just how safe they are.”

The Power Handler and other UIS products are exclusively supplied throughout Australia and New Zealand by Blick Group. The two companies will be displaying the products, as well as other UIS technology at No-Dig Down Under, where representatives from both companies will be on hand at to discuss and illustrate how these units make pipe installation requirements safer, faster and easier.

For more information visit the Blick Group website.

f you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Sophie Venz at