Tamar River Crossing

The construction of Duke Energy International’s (DEI) Tasmanian Gas Pipeline (TGP) achieved an Australian first when McConnell Dowell and its specialist drilling subcontractor, Stockton AJ Lucas Joint Venture, successfully completed the country’s longest under river horizontal directional drill beneath the Tamar River.

The 2046m curved, underground drill hole “punched” through the ground at Rowella, on the west bank of the Tamar River, at around 5am on Friday 22 March.  Drilling on one of the world’s longest under river drilled crossings began in late February on the east side of the Tamar River, near the Bell Bay Power Station.   It exited on the west side of the Tamar River at a precisely designated spot. The drill rig used at the Tamar River has a pull-back capacity of 300t and the curved drill hole reached 86m beneath the bed of the river.

A further 11 rivers in northern Tasmania have now been crossed, using a horizontal directional drill (HDD) – an environmentally-friendly drilling technique used in the pipeline industry to tunnel underneath major rivers and sand dunes without disturbing the above ground environment.

The drills have been undertaken by construction contractor McConnell Dowell, who sub-contracted the river HDD’s to joint venture partners, Stockton (a drilling company owned by McConnell Dowell) and Lucas, Australia’s largest directional drilling company. 

DEI’s TGP Project Manager, Carl Fisher, said that the successful “punch-through” of the Tamar River has been greeted with great excitement by DEI and the pipeline industry.

“The Tamar River crossing has been a terrific achievement for many reasons,” Carl said.  Not only does this represent a record in Australia for its length, but the work was completed in excellent time.

“Stockton Lucas set an outstanding pace, completing 12 major underground river crossings in just seven weeks using four drill rigs.”

Construction of the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline is proceeding.  Around 170kms of pipe has been laid on the bed of Bass Strait, and more than 60kms has been buried on shore in Tasmania.  These totals represent about 30 per cent of the TGP.

Duke Energy International (DEI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy, is one of the world’s leading international energy companies offering energy trading and marketing, risk management, natural gas and power development expertise and operations services across Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. DEI’s Asia Pacific energy portfolio includes 1387km of natural gas pipelines in operation; 860 gross megawatts of thermal power generation in operation and under construction; and energy trading and marketing located in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. 

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses - generating revenues of more than US$60 billion in 2001. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.

For further information: Contact Tiziana Botti from Duke Energy International.
Tel (03) 6345 2300 or 
Mob: 0417 709 446                                   

 By Tiziana Botti.

Last Updated on 4 August 2002