In the middle of 2009, the Kupe natural gas field in the Tasman Sea 30 kilometers off New Zealand’s coast was planned to be put into operation. The platform will be connected to the onshore production station near Hawera in the Province of Taranaki via two parallel running casing tunnels for gas and supply pipelines. With the only obstacle being the approximately 40-meter-high steep coast.
This problem could be solved using a retractable Herrenknecht AVN800XC micromachine. Due to the steep cliff line and the heterogeneous geological conditions, two 228-meter-long casing tunnels were first driven. This "start aid" allowed to safely install the two pipelines towards the platform on a length of 2,200 meters using horizontal directional drilling technology (HDD). The two pipelines could be installed in just under three months – six weeks ahead of schedule.