In the Tábor region, he is building a high-pressure gas pipeline using a plow

A new 20-kilometer high-pressure gas pipeline is being completed between Planá nad Lužnicí and Soběslaví. Instead of the conventional construction method by dredging, a new method of so-called plowing is used for its construction, where a steel plow plows a special plow into the ground. It is used for the first time in the Czech Republic.

“It’s faster, more accurate and more environmentally friendly. Thanks to him, we also have the exact GPS coordinates of the location of the laid pipeline according to the project, “said Tomáš Vacek, head of natural gas administration and operation at E.ON, which provides the construction.

The pipe lays a special plow in the ground, which consists of two parts. The first is the tractor, which is responsible for the movement and speed of laying, the second part is the plow, which, thanks to the tractor, digs a hole in the ground and places the steel pipeline in it exactly to the designed position and depth.

“The plow lays pipes up to a depth of 1.3 meters, but these machines can lay up to a depth of 2.5 meters. The pipe is then pulled over the tractor to the exact position where it should be, ”describes Robin Cimr from the Austrian company IFK Gesellschaft, which is in charge of the plowing method.

The plow pushes the pipe into the ground to a depth of 1.5 meters

Photo: News

“The unique thing is that a working lane that is no longer than three meters is used,” says Cimr. This takes up less space on the land. The conventional method, unlike plowing, requires a working strip of up to 18 meters.

In addition, because the new method is faster, work does not take longer than necessary on the land. “With a laying of about 10 meters per minute, relatively a lot can be achieved compared to the usual method,” explains a representative of an Austrian company. Under ideal conditions, workers can lay up to 1.5 kilometers of steel pipes per day.

“After plowing, there is only a small gap left in the ground compared to the dredging method,” Cimr explains, adding that all you have to do is run over the machine and the ground will suffocate again. Thanks to the gentleness and speed of laying the pipeline, the construction of the surroundings only minimally disturbs. For example, farmers can start cultivating their fields under which the pipeline runs almost immediately.

However, the new method also has disadvantages

Although the plowing method is faster and more environmentally friendly, the construction company has to deal with a number of limitations. Plowing cannot be used everywhere. “It is not suitable in a village or in a city where there are a lot of utilities, or also where there are rocks, large boulders and difficult terrain,” comments Cimr.

In addition, plowing only pays off if more than a hundred meters of pipe are laid. “We have found that plowing should not be shorter than its preparation. It takes ten minutes to climb a hundred meters, the whole preparation takes at least 1.5 hours, “says a representative of the Austrian company.

Plowing steel pipes

Photo: News

In the Tábor region, most of the length of the gas pipeline can be built using this method. “The plowed sections are less than 70 percent of the total length of the gas pipeline, the rest is laid in the usual way, ie in the excavation,” describes Vacek.

The remaining 7 kilometers of the gas pipeline are then laid by the usual method, ie by dredging the pit – so about 200 meters of pipes are laid per day.

Gas for more than 7,000 households

The project of a new gas pipeline in southern Bohemia began to be planned twenty years ago. Its construction was delayed by negotiations with the owners of the land through which the gas pipeline was to run. Designing began in 2016, and will be completed in November. E.ON will pay 80 million crowns for it.

The map shows where the high-pressure pipeline between Soběslav and Ševětín in the Tábor region leads

Photo: E.ON Distribution

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