September 2017, Vol. 244, No. 9


Excavators Look to Doosan for Challenging TAP Project

Special to Pipeline & Gas Journal
Trenching with a hydraulic breaker and earthmoving in the difficult terrain of the Kavala area.

A year into the project, 52 new Doosan excavators are working on a section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), involving the construction of about 225 miles (360 km) of pipeline in Greece.

In March 2016, a new company formed by Bonatti S.p.A. and J&P-Avax Group was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EP&C) contract for this section of the TAP Project. Following a competitive analysis of eight leading excavator manufacturers, Bonatti-J&P Avax chose Doosan equipment to handle the 48-inch pipes.

The construction work required in the TAP project presented many challenges, leading up to the decision to purchase Doosan crawler excavators that range in size from 30-55 tons. The models chosen: the DX300LC-5 (10 units), DX340LC-5 (20 units), DX380LC-5 (10 units) and  DX530LC-5 models (12 units), were selected based on productivity, ease of use and reliability.

“The excavators were the only 53-ton machines to meet the necessary requirements when compared with the 60/70-ton models from the competitors, thus allowing us to save first on the price of purchase and now on fuel consumption,” said John Joannou, corporate procurement manager at Bonatti-J&P Avax.

The DX530LC-5 53-ton model has the widest undercarriage for this size of machine on the market. With a 3.9-meter undercarriage in the extended position, the model has the best lifting capacity in its class, Joannou said.

The largest excavators purchased by Bonatti-J&P Avax, the DX530LC-5 excavators, were each equipped with a “mass excavation front” short arm (2.4 meters) and boom (6.3 meters), providing enhanced hydraulic performance for handling. With the vacuum lifters, the 14-ton, 18-meter-long steel pipes at full reach through 360° is well-suited, considering the required heights and distances, as the excavators are engaged in preparatory work that includes grading, removing trees and site clearance, lifting gas pipes to lay them out and digging trenches using hydraulic breakers or buckets.

After six months on the project, the excavator operators have confirmed the main advantages of the machines are the high digging forces, high traction forces and the high hydraulic output, providing smooth, fast and precise responses. The operators have also praised the comfortable and user-friendly cab.

Another feature is the service package – the DoosanConnect System – a web-based fleet management system that monitors the performance and security of the machines, as well as promoting preventative maintenance

Available as a standard feature on new generation Stage IV compliant excavators (from 14 tons), wheel loaders and articulated dump trucks, the DoosanConnect Telematics System allows fleet managers to communicate with machines and compile a number of reports, including fleet status, machine details, operating hours, fuel usage, engine idle time vs. work time, machine error codes, engine warning system, maintenance history and use reports. Customers can monitor the physical location of their machines, helping to prevent equipment theft.

“Operational data gives me insight into monitoring the machines’ fuel efficiency and the selected power modes in different applications,” said Yannis Panayiotopolos, site plant manager of Bonatti-J&P Avax. “This is helpful to determine if the operators can make adjustments in order to do the same work with less fuel.”

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