“With a good team the work gets done like a charm”

“With a good team the work gets done like a charm”

For the past year and a half, there were a lot of developments regarding construction of the sustainable new water supply system in North-East Groningen. In addition to the creation of a new industrial water supply system, no fewer than 28 kilometres of industrial water lines and 44 kilometres of drinking water lines were installed.

Horizontal directional drilling

Wagenborg Nedlift provided the lifting for many of the 31 horizontal directional drilling (HDD) operations in the infrastructure plan.


In the words of Heiko Doornbosch, Chief Foreman at A. Hak Leidingbouw B.V., “With a horizontal directional drilling operation, a pipe is installed across a particular section of the network via an underground tunnel to get past a road, waterway or cable conduit for example. After the tunnel is drilled, the pipe is withdrawn. Mobile cranes are used to keep the pipe in the correct position while it is being pulled out.”

Simultaneous lifting

“This seems like a simple hoisting operation, because drilling work like this does not involve any real lifting,” adds Kevin Medendorp, work planner at Wagenborg Nedlift. “But it is anything but simple: as the pipe is being withdrawn, it must constantly be guided into the correct position and this requires good coordination between the operators of the six cranes that are simultaneously hoisting the pipe.


On top of that, the pipes were installed in a rural area, which required extra attention to ensure there were safe and stable places to set up the cranes. And the routes leading to the site, many of which are narrow polder roads, demanded the utmost manoeuvring skill of the operators.”

Short channels

“HDD drilling work is a major operation that involves a lot of heavy equipment and has to be carried out with highly precise planning. That's why Wagenborg Nedlift's lifting team was called upon to help prepare for the drilling. Wagenborg Nedlift created clear lifting diagrams for each drilling task, showing the various crane positions,” explains Heiko. “In addition, we worked with regular contacts on both sides and kept the lines of communication short and clear. That worked nicely.”


“Sometimes a drilling operation can run into some delays due to unforeseen circumstances, which creates a big headache for our planners,” says Kevin. “Then everything in your schedule gets moved around, and getting the right cranes and operators to be available on the right day and at the right time turns into a real conundrum. It's a good thing that Heiko and his colleagues worked with us on these issues. We always managed to find a good solution in this way.”

Like a charm

“With a good team the work gets done like a charm,” says Heiko. “We have been working with Wagenborg Nedlift for a long time now and we know what to expect from each other. The equipment is well cared for and instructions, such as how to access a site, are followed diligently. The Nedlift staff are real specialists who know how to work flexibly. This also goes for the people in the office who handle the work preparation and planning and for the crane operators, who perform the work outside. They are always ready to help us!”

Watch the project pictures here!

Pictures: Jan Jansen / Waterbedrijf Groningen

About the North-East Groningen sustainable water supply project

The North-East Groningen sustainable water supply project entails building a new industrial water supply system on the grounds of the Garmerwolde treatment plant. A pipeline was also installed to carry industrial water from Garmerwolde to Eemshaven via Appingedam, as well as a pipeline for drinking water that runs through the same route. This has reinforced both the drinking water supply and the industrial water supply, securing it for the future.


About A.Hak

At A. Hak we have been providing sustainable connections since 1963. We realise solutions for underground infrastructure and associated above-ground systems, and are active throughout the entire chain: from design, construction and launch to operational maintenance and dismantling. We create pipelines and transmission cables as well as distribution networks for electricity, heat, gas, water and other liquids.




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