As a developing nation, China is currently faced with the challenge of providing
safe, reliable and adequate energy resources to the county's growing urban areas as well as to its expanding rural populations. To meet this demand, the country has initiated massive construction projects to expand its national energy infrastructure, particularly in the form of natural gas pipeline. The most notable of these projects is the ongoing West-East Gas Pipeline Project. This project is currently in its third phase, which will supply clean and efficient natural gas to nearly sixty million users located in the densely populated Yangtze River Delta.
Trenchless Technologies, in particular the construction method of Horizontal
Directional Drilling (HDD), have played a critical role in executing this project by
providing economical, practical and environmentally responsible ways to install buried pipeline systems. HDD has proven to be the most popular method selected to overcome challenges along the path of the pipeline, which include mountainous terrain, extensive farmland and numerous bodies of water. The Yangtze River, among other large-scale water bodies, have proven to be the most difficult obstacle for the pipeline installation as it widens and changes course numerous times along its path to the East China Sea. The purpose of this study is to examine those practices being used in China in order to compare those to those long used practices in the North American in order to understand the advantages of Chinese advancements.
Developing countries would benefit from the Chinese advancements for large-scale HDD installation. In developed areas, such as North America, studying Chinese execution may allow for new ideas to help to improve long established methods. These factors combined further solidify China's role as the global leader in trenchless technology methods and provide the opportunity for Chinese HDD contractors to contribute to the world's knowledge for best practices of the Horizontal Directional Drilling method.