Attention HDD Contractors: Can You Handle This Project?

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The Kauai (Hawaii) Board of Water Supply has issued a Request for Proposals for a water development project that demands groundbreaking advances in the art of horizontal directional drilling, while building on existing water development technology in the Hawaiian Islands.
  The Board proposes a two-mile-long high-elevation horizontal shaft capable of producing up to 8 million gallons per day of artesian flow at potentially high pressure. In this project, global and local environmental factors play a role, as do cultural, economic and technological issues.
  One benefit of this project is that it will provide water that can be gravity fed to customers rather than pumped at high electricity cost. Another is that as the water flows to customers it can be fed through hydroelectric plants, actually producing electricity instead of expending it.
  Getting water from high-level sources in the Islands is certainly not new. High level tunnel water sources have been in existence for a century in Hawaii, with examples on Oahu, Maui and Lanai. Each of those tunnels was hand-dug, and work was stopped when sufficient pressure was encountered, to avoid danger to the workers. Several continue to produce potable water today.
  The majority of Kauai’s water is drawn from groundwater supplies floating on top of ocean water.  Depending on how high above sea level people live, the water must be pumped up. On an island with some of the highest electric costs in the nation, that pumping is exceedingly expensive. Due to both scarcity and the cost of production, some have suggested that water is rapidly becoming the new oil. The proposed directionally drilled well is expected to reduce power costs as well as generate power as the water is supplied to lower elevation consumers. 
  “This horizontal shaft will directly benefit the customers in the central Kauai area which is our largest customer base,” said Project Manager, Dustin Moises. “Customers will likely enjoy uninterrupted service during natural disasters and power outages, while minimizing the department’s reliance on imported fossil fuels. In the long run, water will be available at lower rates to all of our customers throughout the island.
  “In the process of meeting this goal, the department and I will work with the community addressing all of the local, environmental and cultural factors as well as any eco-tourism concerns. Projects that advance the art and science of horizontal directional drilled holes sometime come along only once in a person’s career. Is the industry ready for a two mile long horizontal directionally drilled hole while controlling a possible 8 million gpd of artesian water that could approach 1,200 psi while drilling?”
  Continuing, he noted that the project will go to a company that has the equipment to drill the 12,000 feet needed, can gather the necessary technical expertise to drill ahead while controlling high flows and pressures, do the work in an environmentally sound manner and come up with a cost effective proposal. 
  The pre-proposal conference will be held February 21, 2011, one day before the start of the 63rd Pipe Line Contractors Association’s Annual Convention at the Ritz-Carolton Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii that will run from February 22-26, 2011.
  For information, contact: