A big year for trenchless technology in Asia

pel614 a big year for trenchless technology in asia

Trenchless technology is a really useful technique for installing underground infrastructure such as cables and small diameter pipes. It avoids having to dig long trenches to install infrastructure with all the attendant risks of damaging that infrastructure.

Trenchless technology goes by several names and embraces a variety of technologies: tunnelling, microtunnelling, horizontal directional drilling, directional boring, pipe ramming, pipe jacking, moling, horizontal auger boring, and even the rather colourful “keyhole surgery for the environment”.

Trenchless is a global industry in its own right, and this year the focus of that industry will be firmly on Asia, with the 34th International No-Dig conference due to be held in Beijing in October.

It’s being organised by the International Society for Trenchless Technologies (ISTT) and hosted by its Chinese chapter, the China Society for Trenchless Technology (CSTT). ISTT was set up in the UK in 1986 “to advance the science and practice of trenchless technology for the public benefit...” and “to promote education, training, study and research in the said science and practice for the public benefit.” It now has 27 affiliated societies around the world, including Australia.

By the time the No-Dig China conference and exhibition comes around it will be the third conference/exhibition in the Asian region focussed on trenchless technology, all backed by chapters of the ISTT.

Trenchless Asia will be held in Kuala Lumpur on May 9 and 10. It’s being staged by a commercial event organiser, the UK based Westrade Group, on behalf of ISTT and is being billed as “the most prestigious and exciting forum for trenchless technologists in Asia.”

The first Trenchless Asia event was held in Singapore in 1995 and it has since been held in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. And it’s not the only one on the calendar.

The China Hong Kong Society for Trenchless Technology (another ISTT chapter) along with the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University will host Trenchless Asia for Smart City 2016 to “provide an international forum for discussion on the latest techniques and developments in trenchless technology on installation, maintenance and rehabilitation of underground assets.” There will be a two-day conference and exhibition on 16 and 17 June and a pre-conference workshop on 15 June.

The big one though will undoubtedly be International No-Dig Beijing 2016, and for anyone wanting to submit a paper the window for submitting abstracts closes on 15 April. 

Australia, of course, has its own No-Dig conference, No-Dig Downunder organised by Great Southern Press, publisher of the Trenchless Australasia Magazine. The last event, the eleventh, was held in September 2015 on the Gold Coast. The 12th No-Dig Downunder is scheduled for 2017: dates and venue are yet to be announced.

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