Kobus pulled to Europe through new distribution deal

As trenchless pipe replacement is becoming increasingly important, the Kobus Pipe Puller is gaining attention from worldwide distributors, contractors and utility companies. Following its global popularity growth, Kobus has signed an agreement with Infra Elite BV – the distribution arm of Van Voskuilen – to be the exclusive partner in the Netherlands.

Although leak detection is a growing field, pipe rehabilitation is an ultimately necessary solution when infrastructure begins to fail – a challenge faced across the globe. Fortunately for the industry, Kobus has continued to develop its high-value methods in this area with products and equipment applicable across water, gas and other service pipe sectors.

With its ability to remove water or gas service pipes of all materials including lead, steel or plastic, there is no surprise that the environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and minimally disruptive Kobus Pipe Puller method is revolutionising the future of trenchless construction.

Originally a UK company, Kobus has witnessed great results for its innovative pipe pulling techniques since expanding to customers in Australia and New Zealand. Now, the distribution agreement – signed between Kobus and the Van Voskuilen BV group company on 31 January 2020 following successful trials on several live sites in 2019 – will continue this expansion to Europe.

A Dutch government-motivated step

The Dutch government has formed a strategy to replace all Dutch natural gas supplies to residential properties with alternative, low carbon energy sources by 2050. This plan will result in millions of existing steel and PE gas service pipes to be removed as the transition to new energy sources progresses.

The Kobus Pipe Puller KPP400 will be ideal for this application compared to expensive open cut methods considering it is faster, more economical and safer for operators and the public. Additionally, the services will be removed from inside properties with minimal disruption to residents.

Kobus Business Unit Director Simon Drain says the partnership is a significant step in Kobus’ expansion into mainland Europe and both parties are very enthusiastic about the potential in the Netherlands.

“We are delighted to have found the perfect partner in a European market as important as the Netherlands. Van Voskuilen are a well-respected, established company in the sector who now plan to bring innovation such as Kobus to the market as a distributor as well as a contractor,” he says.

“We will be selecting similar partners in other European markets where we are sure the demand for the Kobus Pipe Puller is only going to grow.”

Infra Elite BV began offering the pipe puller solution to energy and water companies and their contractors in February 2020.

KPP400 capabilities

The KPP400 is an all-in-one pipe pulling unit specifically designed for ease when moving around the job site; the machine can be mounted on most 35/45 series compact excavators while the puller generates 27,000 kg driven from the auxiliary hydraulics of the excavator.

The KPP400 can replace lead, galvanised iron, copper or poly pipe and can tow in new copper or polyethylene pipe in a single operation. These services can be quickly and safely pulled out of the ground, replacing old pipes for new installations of up to 36 mm in diameter and of lengths up to 25 m.

Both time and cost efficient, the KPP400 can complete a replacement in three minutes for a typical 12 m line and is an affordable solution for pipe replacement as maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.

As a low maintenance machine, Kobus says the KPP400 is designed to give contractors the edge against other trenchless or conventional technologies due to an advantage on costs, speed and safety.

Kobus and Infra Elite BV signing the distribution agreement.

Additional services and support

Last year, Kobus opened its new US facility to not only support the American market but also the global industry through supplying machines, accessories, consumables and technological support.

“We are working hard to complete in full our [Michigan] facility, where we are already assembling machines. We also are gearing up on all fronts to ensure we can fully support current customers and new ones,” says Mr Atienza.

“We are looking to establish working relationships with local companies and build bonds within the local communities, so we can grow together.”

To establish these bonds locally and internationally, all customers who purchase a Kobus Pipe Pulling machine receive additional services, such as a package that includes pulling cables to allow pulling to commence from day one.

Comprehensive training from qualified Kobus engineers is also provided to help train crews to use the machine, optimising the success of the pipe replacements and ensuring the crew are working safely.

For more information visit the Kobus website.

If you have company news you would like featured in Trenchless International contact Managing Editor David Convery at dconvery@gs-press.com.au

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