In 2018 a new tunnel will be constructed underneath the river “Het Scheur” near Rotterdam: the Blankenburgtunnel. In preparation of this project, some of the existing underground infrastructure needs to be relocated and replaced. One of these existing pipelines transports CO2 from refineries in the Rotterdam harbour to the greenhouses west of the city, the OCAP-pipeline. This pipeline has been replaced by means of Horizontal Directional Drilling.
In the last weekend of November 2016, the pipe has been installed under the waterway. This crossing was performed using a HDD with a length of 1350 meters. The diameter of the pipe is 660 millimetres and has been pre-fabricated in two parts at a location near the exit point of the crossing. The drilling and reaming of the borehole took about two weeks.
A total of 11 telescopic cranes guided the pipeline towards the borehole during the pullback. The operation was temporarily interrupted to connect the two prefabricated parts with a so-called “golden weld”. After successfully completing the weld, pullback was resumed and completed late in the evening.
In the months after the HDD operation, the connecting pipes were constructed and installed. After the connection with the existing line is made, the old line underneath Het Scheur can be decommissioned and removed.