Direct Pipe®

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12 Deploys

Trenchless pipeline installation in one step

Page last modified
April 11 2024

The Direct Pipe® technology combines the advantages of Microtunnelling and HDD and can be applied in all ground conditions. In one step only, a Microtunnelling TBM excavates the borehole and the prefabricated pipeline is installed using a Pipe Thruster in the launch pit. This allows safe and fast installation of pipeline crossings and landfalls. A new distance world record was set in 2020 in New Zealand, where a 48” pipeline has been installed on a length of 2,021 meters. Direct Pipe® is available in diameters ranging from 24” to 60”, using a newly developed slurry jet pump system for small diameters.

Pros & Limitations
Borehole excavation and installation of prefabricated pipeline with permanent support of borehole
Applicable in all geological formations with low frac-out risk
High installation speeds combined with high accuracy and precise steering including horizontal & vertical curves (and combinations thereof)
Sequential process during preparation, mob/demob, and execution
Structured site layout separates work areas while maintaining single-side operation (rig side = pipe side), thus ideally suited for shore approaches (reduced offshore activities)
Highly reduced site & operational requirements for onboard and/or generator power allow up to 50% savings in fuel and carbon-dioxide
Depending on diameter, distance, complexity, and (geological) difficulty, comparable or less costly than other trenchless installation methods
Reliable planning of production schedule and budget due to reduction in overall execution risk, completion risk, and risks associated with unforeseen conditions as well as environmental impact
Pipe string and DP-MTBM can be fully retracted from borehole in case of unscheduled events or conditions
Propriety technology: Herrenknecht is exclusive supplier of Direct Pipe® technology.
Specification Title Specification Description
Certifications / licenses
Herrenknecht is inventor and patent holder.
Areas of Application
Crossing of rivers, roads, railroads, and other terrain or obstacles in all types of geologial formations, including shore approaches and marine/sea outfalls and landfalls; typical fields are pipelines for oil & gas, water, sewage, desalination...
Application conditions
Applicable in all ground conditions, even in highly permeable soils; due to simple launch and target pits also available in densely populated areas and/or in tight site conditions.
Pipe diameters
24” – 60”.
PE, PP, FBE, GRP, Concrete.
Drilling lengths
Up to 2.000m (depending on project conditions like diameter, geology, etc.).
Installation speed
Up to 200m / 24 hours
Minimum risk of inadvertent fluid return (frac-out); small footprint; sequenced operation; reduced noise emissions.
Comparable to other trenchless installation methods (+/- 1,5m over 1000m distance); can be increased by intermediate control or reference survey(s).


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Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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As a market leader in mechanized tunnelling and trenchless technology, Herrenknecht has expanded its equipment range with specialized pipeline installation technologies for short and long crossings along pipeline routes. Worldwide, drilling contractors use Herrenknecht technologies at these key points to install hundreds of kilometers of pipelines per year, quickly, safely, and economically. Herrenknecht’s equipment and methods cope with space constraints and install underground pipelines and  pipes in all geological formations, even for marine outfalls  and landfalls. Exactly where they are needed.

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