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All diameters, all grounds, all challenges

The Netherland's North-South Route

New records one after another

Top performance: The Direct Pipe® method celebrates a world record with 1,400 m drilling length and an advance rate of 232 m in 24 hours. For the first time, a railway was safely crossed at a depth of 30 m.

________________ The Netherlands is reacting to the growing gas demand in northwestern Europe by constructing the North-South Route. A total of 485 kilometers of new pipelines must be installed to extend the existing network. Various obstacles such as roads, canals, railways, and rivers have to be crossed underground safely and accurately. The innovative Direct Pipe® method developed by Herrenknecht was used on seven sections. Trenchless and in one single step the borehole is being constructed and the pipeline installed. This method has proven its efficiency, for example, near Lochem, where a 1,400-meter-long pipeline was completely installed in just 11 working days. In the port of Rotterdam, the Hartelkanaal was crossed under space constraints and with steep entry and exit angles (10° / 12°), using this method. The newly developed Pipe Express® technology celebrated its successful debut with the installation of a 500-meter-long pipeline near Sevenum. Innovative pipeline installation technology from Herrenknecht has impressively demonstrated its advantages at key points along the North-South Route.

Direct Pipe® method: With 1,400m, the longest drive excavated using the Direct Pipe® method, managing overburden of only 4m.

Installation of 232m pipeline in 24h.

Pipe Express® method: Installation speeds of 1.2m / min were achieved.

Clear advantages compared to conventional methods: smaller route widths, fewer staff and less earthmoving, and no lowering of groundwater needed.

Pipeline length: 362 – 1,400m

Geology: sand, gravel, loam

A. Hak Drillcon B.V.,
Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Direct Pipe® method:
AVN1000XC, M-1493

Diameter: 1,295 mm
Max. torque: 150 kNm
Pipe Thruster, HK500PT, H-096
Pipeline diameter: 48"
Max. thrust and pulling force: 500 t (5,000 kN)

Pipe Express® method:
Pipe Express, M-1737M

Diameter: 1,350 mm
Max. torque: 140 kNm
Pipe Thruster, HK500PT, H-022
Pipeline diameter: 48"
Max. thrust force: 500 t (5,000 kN)

North-South Route, Holland

Technical background

Constructing the borehole and installing the pipe string in one single step – made possible with the Direct Pipe® method developed by Herrenknecht for the fast, precise, and safe installation of pipelines. Direct Pipe® combines proven microtunnelling technology with the power of the Herrenknecht Pipe Thruster. In addition, the innovative Herrenknecht Pipe Express® method is being employed on the North-South Route for the first time.


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