Cenpower launches new drilling technology

MountainAsh Flickr tunnelThe TBM facilitates the construction of underground tunnels without destroying top-level surfaces. (Image Source: Mountain/\Ash/Flickr)Cenpower has introduced new drilling and tunnelling technology at its Kpone Independent Power Plant (KIPP) in Ghana

The new tunnel boring machine (TBM), developed by Coleman Tunnelling Africa, creates underground tunnels of varied sizes without digging the top soil. This shortens the work duration and reduces the environmental impact of the drilling.

Group Five, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractors who are carrying out operations at the plant have deployed the TBM to construct a tunnel into the sea for water intake and outfall. The sea water is required to serve as a cooling system for the combined cycle gas turbine power plant.

“We have come to a very critical stage in the plant’s construction. The sea water pipelines for the cooling water system cannot be constructed manually using conventional open-trench techniques. This specialised equipment minimises the environmental impact and it is the first time it is being deployed in sub-Saharan Africa,” the Group Five contracts director Stephen Tricket said.

The TBM was unveiled by Ghana vice-president Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur at the project site. He expressed satisfaction with the technology and project and also urged engineering companies to adopt improved drilling techniques to ensure the generation of clean power.

“This technology can be used to construct underground passages and tunnels without destroying top-level surfaces and to eliminate the construction of open-sewerage drains,” Coleman Microtunnelling managing director Noel Kerr said at the inaugural ceremony.

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