Close to Dresden in eastern Germany, contractor EAS (Einhaus Anlagenservice GmbH) is using Volvo pipelayers to construct two parallel gas pipelines for transmission operator ONTRAS.
To continue to improve the energy infrastructure in the Lausitz district and ensure that it is safe and sustainable, ONTRAS is constructing two new, long-distance gas pipelines at an estimated cost of 44 million euros. The company is responsible for Germany’s second largest, high-pressure pipeline network covering over 7,000 km, with multiple connections to the European gas transport system. These new lines, using predominantly 32 inch pipes, will cover a distance of 35 km between Senftenberg in Brandenburg (district of Großkoschen) and Spreewitz in the Spreetal district in Saxony and will allow the company, in the long term, to secure the natural gas supply in the regions of Freiberg, Dresden, Bautzen, Zittau and Gorlitz.
Via its interconnection points, the ONTRAS network is directly connected to more than 60 downstream network operators in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland and is supplied by several upstream network operators. In addition, over 40 connectees and nine natural gas storage facilities are directly connected to the ONTRAS network, with around 20 biogas facilities and two power-to-gas facilities also feeding regenerative energies into the network. As the transmission operator, ONTRAS is also responsible for monitoring and optimising the conditions and the performance of the network on a regular basis.
To support this project, contractor EAS is using two Volvo PL3005D pipelayers, as well as two of the more recently launched PL4809D models. The PL3005D machines have a tipping capacity of 51 tonnes, whereas the PL4809D models offer a capacity of 102 tonnes thanks to their additional counterweight.
Work began in November on the first line, with the Volvo pipelayers used initially to support the bending and welding teams prior to the winter break. In this type of activity, Volvo pipelayers really show their unparalleled versatility. The 360° upper structure swing enables pipes to be swung to the bending station with no disruption from underfoot conditions. At the start of the welding process, the hydro-mechanical swing lock holds the pipe as steady as rock.
Laying-in started in January, the pipelayers working in perfect harmony.
With the Volvo pipelayers’ on-board Load Management System, operators know the state of their load at all times, with information fed continuously to a monitor in the cab and also signaling to other operators on the line via a system of lights mounted on the boom – green though amber to red should the maximum load be reached. The system provides an accurate calculation and display of the ‘safe working load’, which is calculated as 85% of the machine’s rated tipping load, thereby providing an additional margin of safety.
“I am very pleased with the performance of the pipelayers,” said company owner Detlef Einhaus. “They performed exactly to my expectations. With a special challenge of lowering in a 400m long pipe string with a 45° bend, the versatility of the Volvo pipelayers’ rotating upper structure fully paid off.”
Picture1: Thanks to an impressive 360° swing capacity, the operators safely rotate the Volvo D-Series pipelayers to lift and place the pipe with ease.
Picture 2: With a tipping capacity up to 102 tonnes, the Volvo pipelayers perform heavy-duty tasks efficiently and swiftly.
Picture 3: With superb stability and smooth hydraulics, Volvo’s D-Series pipelayers are the perfect choice for lowering-in applications.