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A recent drilling project crossing under the N1 in Centurion, near the active Gautrain high speed rail, proved tricky until the right contractor for the job, armed with the right equipment, managed a breakthrough.

The project involved the installation of four ducks of 110 mm in diameter over a distance of 130 m through solid rock, crossing under N1 in Centurion and under the very active Gautrain rail lines. “Several companies had failed and the project had been waiting for a year or two for the right contractor,” says Robert ‘Chico’ Garcia, JCS Pipeline’s operations and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) manager, adding that the evidence of previous contractors’ attempts to get all the way across were cleary visible.

Thanks to the right mix of equipment, GSW Contracting has built its business boring through rock.

Any contractor who has ever encountered a rock formation during an installation project knows all too well that boring through rock is a time-consuming and often costly process, especially if the right equipment isn’t being used. Plus, every rock formation is different, often requiring a unique approach to each formation. This often involves experimenting with different horizontal directional drill rigs, attachments, mud mixtures, etc.