Skip to main content

Contract update: new Doosan excavators working on TAP

Published by
World Pipelines,

A year into the project, 52 new Doosan excavators are now working on a section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), involving the construction of about 360 km of pipeline in Greece.

In March 2016, a new company formed by Bonatti S.p.A. and J&P-Avax Group was awarded the EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) contract for this section of the TAP Project. Following a competitive analysis of eight leading excavator manufacturers, Bonatti-J&P Avax s.r.l. chose the Doosan brand to provide the power and reliability required for the contract, purchasing 52 new Doosan crawler excavators for the excavation work and for the laying of the 1.2 m (48 in.) diameter pipes in the project.


TAP is the European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, which aims to connect European markets to new gas sources in the Caspian basin. TAP is a joint venture of several energy companies and is one of the most strategic energy infrastructure projects in Europe. Involving an investment of €4.5 billion and employing over 5500 people, the TAP project will cross Greece and Albania from the Greece-Turkey border to the province of Lecce in Italy. TAP facilitates the transport of Caspian Sea area (Azerbaijan) natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.


Bonatti S.p.A. is an Italian company that is among the largest international pipeline contractors in the world, with a strong record of thousands of km of pipes laid around the world under the most critical environmental and logistical conditions, overcoming similar challenges to those posed by the TAP project, that will see the crossing of many roads and rivers along its path.


J&P-Avax Group is one of the largest construction groups in Greece, with extensive activities abroad. Listed on the main market of the Athens Exchange since 1994, J&P-Avax has extensive experience in oil and natural gas pipeline construction as well as LNG stations and thermal power plants.


The construction work required in the TAP project presents many challenges and to help in its execution, the joint venture has purchased 52 new Doosan crawler excavators from 30 - 55 t (comprising 10 DX300LC-5, 20 DX340LC-5, 10 DX380LC-5 and 12 DX530LC-5 models), based primarily on the productivity, ease of use and reliability that characterises the Doosan construction equipment range.


"This important order is further confirmation of the quality of Doosan products and the support offered by our dealer network such as that available from Ergon Tzanidakis Ltd, our Greek dealer, which is responsible for servicing all the Doosan machines on the project," said Franck Adam, Key Accounts Director at Doosan Bobcat EMEA.


He continued: “This contract is the result of a close collaboration between various ‘actors’ who, from June to November last year, have been able to set up the processes needed to complete this important deal in a very short timeframe. The rapid availability of the machines as well as the right specifications and performance for the job were key factors in Doosan’s success in winning the order.”


For several years now, Doosan has been one of the top five largest excavator manufacturers in the world.  With the best price per tonne on the market, Doosan is today one of the world's leading players, with a range that offers high productivity, performance and comfort.


“The decision behind which brand of excavator we would choose started with an analysis of eight leading manufacturers and we selected Doosan after careful evaluation of the technical features and the aftersales package,” said John Joannou, Corporate Procurement Manager at Bonatti-J&P Avax s.r.l. “Doosan machines offer great value for money, especially when analysing performances and fuel consumption, which, after several months using the excavators, we can confirm are in line with the impressive values given in the technical data sheets. For example, for pipe handling with vacuum lifters, Doosan excavators were the only 53 t machines to meet the necessary requirements when compared with the 60/70 t models from the competitors, thus allowing us to save first on the price of purchase and now on fuel consumption.” 


The Doosan DX530LC-5 53-tonne model has the widest undercarriage for this size of machine on the market. Thanks to the 3.9 m width of the undercarriage in the extended position, the DX530LC-5 has the best lifting capacity in its class. The largest excavators purchased by Bonatti-J&P Avax s.r.l., the 12 DX530LC-5 excavators have been equipped with a ‘mass excavation front’ short arm (2.4 m) and boom (6.3 m) providing an enhanced hydraulic performance for handling, with the vacuum lifters, the 14 t/18 m long steel pipes at full reach through 360° at the required heights and distances.


"Comparing manufacturers by the weight of the models was not the way to go; for example, we found that Doosan DX340LC-5 34 t excavators are equivalent to the 38 t models from the competitors," Joannou added.  "Also the availability of a range of excavators from Doosan with six different models from 30 - 55 t has been helpful, enabling us not to oversize in the machinery fleet.  Doosan was also able to meet our needs for urgent delivery of the machines.  Once the agreement was confirmed, the excavators arrived within a month, between October and November last year."


Doosan excavators are working hard in a range of different applications from preparatory work including grading, removing trees and site clearance, lifting gas pipes to lay them out or ‘string’ them, digging trenches using hydraulic breakers or buckets, to loading crushing and screening equipment to create backfill for the trenches that does not damage the pipes.


After six months on the project, the excavator operators have confirmed that the main advantages of the Doosan machines are the high digging forces, high traction forces and the high hydraulic output, providing very smooth, fast and precise responses. The operators have also appreciated the comfortable and user friendly cab; Doosan excavators have the biggest cab and one of the largest control panels on the market.


According to one of the operators: "Before this project I had never used a Doosan excavator and, now that I've been working for over 600 hours, I can say that I have been surprised and impressed by the simplicity of the excavator controls. Besides being very spacious, the cab offers great visibility and it’s very quiet."


The contract for the 52 new Doosan excavators includes a service package that provides two years of warranty with the possibility of extending it to another year, and a dedicated service team available around the clock. Service is handled directly by Ergon Tzanidakis, the Doosan dealer in Greece.


"For this contract, we purchased two new fully equipped service vans and hired four new service engineers who, together with me, are completely dedicated to this project," said Dimitris Tzanidakis, Project Manager for the Ergon Tzanidakis dealership. "Spare parts availability is a further added value, with supply from a spare parts warehouse located in the main project camp as well as from Ergon Tzanidakis’ main warehouse in Athens and the Doosan warehouse in Leipzig, Germany, from where spare parts can be delivered overnight, in less than 24 hours.” 


An additional feature greatly appreciated by Bonatti-J&P Avax s.r.l., in addition to the machines and the service package, is the DoosanConnect System; a web-based fleet management system that monitors the performance and security of the Doosan machines, as well as promoting preventative maintenance.


Available as a standard feature - on all new generation Doosan Stage IV compliant excavators (from 14 t), wheel loaders and articulated dump trucks - the DoosanConnect Telematics System allows fleet managers to communicate with machines and compile a number of reports, including fleet status, machine details, operating hours, fuel usage, engine idle time versus work time, machine error codes, engine warning system, maintenance history and utilisation reports. Customers can monitor the physical location of their Doosan machines, ensuring they are where they are supposed to be, which helps prevent equipment theft.


“Operational data gives me insight into monitoring the machines’ fuel efficiency and the selected power modes in different applications.  This is helpful to determine if the operators can make adjustments in order to do the same work with less fuel,” said Yannis Panayiotopolos, Site Plant Manager of Bonatti-J&P Avax s.r.l.  “Accurate machine usage reports, such as the number of hours a machine has been used for a particular job, help me to estimate when completing job bids and planning for jobs.  The system also allows access to the machine’s maintenance history and aids in scheduling routine services, whilst eliminating the need to physically check fuel levels on the machine, as the information can be viewed remotely.”


Read the article online at:

You might also like


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):


This article has been tagged under the following:

Europe pipeline news TAP pipeline news