E-Power Pipe® pilot project Rheinböllen
Germany, Bacharach
2018 – 2019

In Bacharach in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate, the energy transition is in full swing. More than 40 percent of the federal state's energy comes from renewable sources – part of it from wind power in the nearby Hunsrück region. In order to distribute the green energy efficiently, cable protection pipes have been installed using the innovative Herrenknecht E-Power Pipe® process. These pipes connect the new substation in Bacharach with a substation in Rheinböllen. The construction of new overhead high-voltage power lines was therefore not necessary. During operation, the underground cables running in the new pipes transmit electricity at a voltage of 110,000 volts.

The meanwhile second joint pilot project with network operator Amprion comprised a total of six drives with a length of around 700 meters each. Excavation of the boreholes with an overburden of about two meters began in the late summer of 2018. The difference in height from the launch to the target shaft of each section was 17 meters and the excavated curve radius was 500 meters. After several months of work on the project, on one of the final drives the fastest insertion of one of the cable protection pipes took place in a record time of just twelve days. The AVNS 350XB microtunnelling machine used was completely remotely controlled during excavation. The TUnIS navigation measuring system from Herrenknecht subsidiary VMT ensured high accuracy steering the machine. In late March 2019 already the site crew reported the last breakthrough, much earlier than expected.

With E-Power Pipe®, Herrenknecht AG has developed an innovative method that meets all the requirements for the trenchless installation of underground cables and represents a real economic alternative to open-cut installation. The environmentally friendly technology works close to the surface, saves space and thus results in only little intervention in the landscape. Small-diameter cable protection pipes can be installed underground precisely and quickly in more than ten times longer drives with low overburdens, compared with conventional pilot pipe jacking. The method was first used in a pilot project in Borken in 2017. The development of the method received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi research project IBoTec). It has been awarded the bauma Innovation Award 2019 in the Machine category as well as the 2017 Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Award.

Further Information:

Umspannanlage Bacharach (German)

Data Sheet

Country, Location

Germany, Bacharach


2018 – 2019




Heterogeneous ground:
Silt, sand, clay, Rhine shale, quartzite layers, iron oxide

Tunnelling length

4,200 m

Machine Data

1x AVNS 350XB
Diameter: 505mm
Lining method: E-Power Pipe®
Cutterhead power: 22kW
Torque: 10kNm

Your contact person Contact us

Steffen Dubé President and General Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser Commercial Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.