MAXI RIG AIDS MAJOR LONDON HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Family owned, Peter McCormack & Sons Ltd. (McCormack Drilling) have recently undertaken a series of major HDD projects at Barking Riverside Limited (BRL), which is a joint venture between L&Q and the Mayor of London. Since 2019, McCormack Drilling has been contracted by UKPN (UK Power Networks) (the client for the works) and Clancy Docwra (the principal contractor) to undertake a number of cable diversion projects, utilising HDD techniques as part of ongoing construction works.
The purpose of the latest HDD bores at Barking was to allow UKPN and Clancy Docwra to divert electrical circuits from the development land to facilitate Barking Riverside’s plan of achieving the construction of 10,800 new homes on the site.

In total four HDD bores of circa 430 m in length were required for this section of the works which were completed utilising McCormack’s American Augers DD440T rig (which offers some 200t push/pull capacity) and associated fluid recycling plant. Rigs and support equipment of this size/footprint are rarely operated in such a relatively confined urban environment and this in itself made for some interesting logistical challenges for the drilling crew.

All the bores were designed to accommodate pipe bundles comprising three 180 mm diameter SDR11 pipes and six 125 mm diameter SDR11 pipes.
Overall, the project utilised some 16 km of welded pipe. All pipes, once welded, were internally and externally de-beaded with each joint inspected by CCTV. Further post installation checks were undertaken whereby the installed ducts were verified by swabbing.

Understanding Geology
The prevailing ground conditions were mainly within the Thanet Formation containing sand/gravel which was overlain by superficial, compressible deposits of alluvium made up of peat, silt and clays. The area also contained significant areas of made-ground derived from deposits from the nearby former coal-fired power station at Barking Reach. The geology was challenging but the site team were able to use their previous knowledge of the locality to overcome the difficulties.
Apart from the ground conditions, the only significant challenges during the course of the bores were the 180o bend radius on the pipe welding corridor which required a bespoke engineering solution by McCormack Drilling to ensure pipe installation was successful. There was also a change in one design length to accommodate the discovery of some redundant cables.
Commenting on the HDD works, George Pali, project manager for Clancy Docwra said: “May I say that the lads are doing a fantastic job, both in terms of safety as well as productivity within the environment they have. I love the attitude.”
Farhan Nomani, project manager for UKPN added: “Almost there with a horizontal directional drill scheme to future proof power supply to East of London. One of the largest HDD rig’s in the UK is being managed by the team. Excellent work is being done by the team with great care to safety and expertise in precision engineering. Brilliant efforts by McCormack Drilling in collaboration with the team at Clancy Docwra.”

Peter McCormack & Sons (McCormack Drilling) was established in early 1970’s as a utilities contractor and have been specialising in Horizontal Directional Drilling since the early 1990’s. It has a proud history of being a family owned and operated business which specialises in ground-breaking trenchless solutions throughout the UK and Ireland incorporating a bespoke, in-house design service. Its equipment portfolio offers rigs from its larger 200t Maxi rigs, through 50t mid-size or Midi rigs to 20t Mini rigs which, across the range, are capable of installing pipe diameters from 20 mm up to 1,200 mm diameter with a range of over 1,200 m.
Dominique Huc, Territory Manager (Europe/Africa/Middle East) for American Augers recently wrote about McCormack: “I have had the privilege of working with them for the past 5 years. Our relationship as a supplier to provide equipment and services has been excellent. As a reputable company McCormack has been in the industry from the early 1990s using mainly our brand American Augers for the HDD projects. They always impress me with their efficiency, quality of work, first-rate problem solving and project management abilities. McCormack & Sons was and are a reference for our brand in the HDD industry for the UK and Ireland market. They have proven their capabilities. In my current position, when someone asks me to recommend a drilling contracting company using our type of equipment, without hesitation I always recommend Peter McCormack & Sons.”

Video footage of some of McCormack’s major HDD’s can be found on the website: www.mccormackdrilling.com

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