Micro-Tunneling is a trenchless technology which combines a remote-controlled, steerable boring machine with pipe jacking techniques to install pipelines underneath the surface, on almost all ground conditions, in a single pass.
The Micro-Tunneling process presents several advantages, including: more cost-effective than large-scale drilling; safer for urban environments; more eco-friendly for people and nature (e.g. dust control, project lifespan, material transportation, efficiency, etc.); minimized traffic disturbance; incredible accuracy; and many more.
GT’s Micro-Tunneling techniques support inner pipe diameters from 200 mm to 3600+ mm.
Gulf Tunneling can install pipelines to indefinite kilometers, with each drive depending on the tunneling machine diameter. For diameters less than 1,600mm GT has executed drives up to 150 meters; for diameters over 1,600mm or more, drives have reached 700 meters.
Generally, the ground cover over the machine should be at least 2.5 times the machine diameter; this could be less depending on ground condition.
Our high-tech machines can work below ground water level, under pressures up to 3 bars, and they may even be upgraded to 6 bar pressure.
GT was the sub-contractor on the Lusail Micro-Tunneling Project that was awarded “GCC Infrastructure of the Year” in 2011; this drive was executed at a depth of 27 meters.
Usually, the machine is controlled from a control room on the surface of the ground. Laser-guidance and automated features allow for millimeter precision. Constant feedback about the machine’s location, orientation, water flow, and all another important data are given via the computer console.
Horizontal Directional Drilling (or HDD) is another trenchless steerable method. It is most often used for installing underground pipes, conduits and cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface-launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area.
HDD is used for pressure lines when high accuracy is not required (±100mm) for installing infrastructure such as telecommunications and power cable conduits, water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, oil lines, product pipelines and environmental remediation casings.
It is used for crossing waterways, roadways, shore approaches, congested areas, environmentally-sensitive areas, and areas where other methods are costlier. It is preferred over other techniques to provide less traffic disruption, lower cost, deeper and/or longer installation, no access pit, shorter completion times, increased directional capabilities, and environmental safety.