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Connect 1,400m digging only 20

By adopting a new technology for the first time in the world.

We integrate pioneering engineering solutions and technological innovation in the choice of the optimal construction paths for one of the most complex areas in the world.

The power of managing complexity

Using traditional microtunneling technologies for the construction of a new pipeline in a natural reserve proved unfeasible given the very narrow window granted by the authorities. Innovation was what we needed. Direct Pipe is a technology that allows underground installation with no direct digging of the conduit. It had been never tested before on pipes with a diameter of over 48”. We managed to implement it on a pipeline of 56”, for the first time in the world. Two sections of the pipeline were developed, whose initial construction point lay outside the bounds of the environmentally protected reserve. And by digging only 20 meters, we connected two sections of the pipeline for a total length of 1.4 km.

Learn more on how we can help to find long-term solutions for complexity

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The context: the EXPORT development project

Construction in the Po Valley of a new pipeline aimed at increasing the transport capacity in the northern part of the country thus allowing reverse flow gas supply, which is the physical export of gas from Italy towards Northern Europe.

The project included the realization of 450km of new 48’’ and 56’’ diameters pipelines, together with the construction of 2 new compressor stations empowered up to 85MW.

These infrastructural developments are also supporting the best resilience of the gas network to the increased volatility of flows, ensuring the security and diversification of supplies for all consumers.

Direct Pipe technology

The Direct Pipe technology combines the typical microtunneling drilling system with a special thrust unit called “Pipe Thruster to lay pipelines without the need of prefabricated enclosures. The Pipe Thruster consists of a locking unit connected to a base structure by means of two hydraulic cylinders. Through this system, the steel pipe is installed and pushed into the ground, where it advances as the drilling is performed. This technology allows to considerably compress the excavation time and execution compared to other trenchless technologies.

  • One-pass operation of soil excavation and pipeline installation
  • Combines the benefits of HDD and microtunneling
  • Requires little space
  • Short set-up and construction times
  • Low costs
  • High degree of precision
  • No groundwater lowering required
  • No shaft structures required
  • Permits lengths in excess of 1,500 m
  • Can be used in any subsoil
  • Minimal environmental impact

Simple solutions for environmentally complex areas


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