The many benefits of horizontal directional drilling are well known, not just the time and cost savings but also the environmental benefits in that trenches are not excavated, excavated material having to be removed form site, then recycled or fresh quarried stone brought in to back fill trenches, all adding to the carbon footprint of the works.
So with the ever increasing expansion of on-shore and off-shore windfarms, there is a natural synergy between h.d.d. and wind and solar farms when it comes to cable duct installation. Whether the cable duct route is under a road, water course, woodlands , ancient hedgerow, canals, high pressure gas, oil or fuel pipelines, high or low voltage cables, motorways or railway lines, the use of and benefit of trenchless techniques cannot be under estimated. The sheer size of the individual offshore wind farm turbines is spectacular, 190m-tall and have a rotor diameter of 178m with a maximum height of 200m to the blade tip. They have a clearance level of 22m above mean high water springs (MHWS).
During 2017 and 2018, Darlington based Eco-Drill Ltd completed 52 directional drilling schemes, on Hornsea 1, along a 40 km route from Horseshoe Point, south of Grimsby, to the National Grid onshore substation at North Killingholme, Lincolnshire.
With the continued expansion in capacity of the Hornsea wind farm ( the world’s largest offshore windfarm), and due to their exceptional record of completion on the previous scheme, Eco-Drill Ltd were awarded a further 62 directional drilling locations on the Hornsea 2 scheme in late 2018. The cable route was approximately 39km and consisted of 3x220kV circuits and fibre optics within a 40m construction corridor. Along the cable route there will be 23 joint bays per circuit, with an average section length of approximately 1,600m. Within the 62 horizontal directional drilling locations, there were 3 individual drills at each location consisting of 3 x 250mm duct bundles and a 63mm PE fibre duct ( 186 drills in total). Eco-Drill undertook the butt welding of the ducting using Peak Pipe system’s ClearDuct which has CNC machined ends which ensure each pipe end has a small internal bevel, which results in a joint that does not require the internal bead to be removed as it sits flush just below the internal pipe diameter. This removes the risk of any damage to the electric cable sheath.
Utilising its fleet of Ditch Witch hdd rigs, Eco-Drill Ltd put to good use their two no 30t and one no 50t drill rigs for the 186 drills varying in lengths from 40m short crossings to a 400m long bore. The drilling works ran from Feb 2019 to October 2020 incorporating the usual British weather challenges and working on a cross country access route. In total over 17,500m of 250mm and 563mm were installed by h.d.d.
As the UK reliance on wind and solar power increases, and current windfarm schemes are expanding, Eco-Drill Ltd are looking ahead to the ever increasing market having already proved more than capable of delivering on major schemes. In addition to trenchless technology, Eco-Drill Ltd can provide full geotechnical investigation, structural design and completion of Network Rail design for under track crossings, as well as full turnkey and utility services.
Furthermore to boost the company’s already talented management team, MD John Dunlavey has recently appointed Chris Brodie to the team as Business Development Manager. Chris has a wealth of trenchless experience having been involved in h.d.d. since its arrival in the UK in the early 80s, in addition to which he has gained extensive knowledge of guided auger boring, pipe ramming and pipe bursting through various employment opportunities over the last 35 years.
Volker Infra’s experience of working with Eco-Drill as part of the delivery team on the Hornsea 2 – 0rsted offshore windfarm landside cable installation for 18 months was a pleasure from the start. EcoDrill and the team have a slant towards getting on with the tasks in hand and have a proactive approach to collaborative working when it involves multiple contractors and being amenable to change in the ever-changing environment of construction and civil engineering.
Design and documentation support and submissions were done in a timely fashion and all assistance required by the principal contractor. EcoDrill and the team were proactive in providing all the information that was required – and in some cases went above and beyond to provide what was required when it comes to asset owners and rail crossings. This helped in the smooth transitions of drill locations with regards to programme betterment for the delivery of the cable installation.
Site delivery was undertaken in a proactive approach to problem solving and also amenable to change in an evolving site – Site team were all skilled in their field and all worked closely to provide a good product result in a professional manner.
– EcoDrill has expanded my knowledge personally with regard to smaller rigs working in a faster environment fr
The working relationship with EcoDrill and Volker Infra has been a positive experience – the people have all been a pleasure to work with om my experience of rigs 100t +.
I hope to work with EcoDrill again in the future as difficult work is always made easier with the right team – and EcoDrill have the right team. I throroulgly enjoyed working personally with each of the members of the EcoDrill staff and operatives on site.
If you have a site which is going to be fast passed and everchanging and you need an amenable subcontractor to deliver your drilling to a high quality with a wealth of knowledge – id would thoroughly recommend EcoDrill.
Nicholas Jones – Hornsea II – HDD Package Delivery Manager.