A Liebherr LB 20 rotary drilling rig is being used to install piling for a four-star hotel in Dubai. UAE-based Delta Foundations Co. aims to complete the project in four months for the hotel at Dubai’s Culture Village development.

“We have been using other brands of rotary drilling rigs, but we needed to invest in a new machine and were impressed by the specifications of the LB 20,” says Mohamed Osama, Delta’s project engineer. “This contract is therefore very much a learning process for us.”

Culture Village is a mixed development that is being built alongside Dubai Creek, where a 6-kilometer boardwalk and a marina have been constructed. Plots of land have been allocated to a number of developers for the construction of apartment buildings, hotels, retail space, offices, a mosque and a museum.

The basement excavation for the four-star hotel has already been completed, and a diaphragm wall constructed around the perimeter. Delta Foundations was awarded a contract for the driving of 200 bored piles underneath the basement level. Osama says this is the first project on which the highly mobile and compact Liebherr LB 20 has been used. The rig was supplied to Delta by Liebherr Middle East FZE, which is based at Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.

The machine is being used in a rotary Kelly configuration, with a casing oscillator. Delta is driving two depths of pile, one to 24 meters and the other to 29 meters, depending on the needs of the structure. There are two diameters of pile, one at 70 centimeters and the other at 100 centimeters.

“Even within this small area the soil conditions vary,” Osama says. “On average, the first 10 meters is sand. After that we begin to find about 4 or 5 meters of soft rock. Beneath that the rock becomes harder. What we do have to contend with is the water table, which is at 4.5 meters below our drilling surface. Even so, we are completing the drilling at the rate of about one hour for a 24-meter deep, 70-centimeter diameter pile. So we shall finish our contract in a comfortable timescale.”

The LB 20 works at a maximum torque of 230 kNm, which allows for a fast drilling cycle, and with a Kelly drilling configuration it can reach a depth of 52 meters.

Mohamed Al Amin was the first of Delta’s operators to be trained to use the LB 20. “The LB 20 is an easy machine to operate, and once you have worked with it, then you do not really want to work with any other kind of rig,” he says.

Liebherr’s product range includes earthmoving and material handling machinery, mining equipment, mobile cranes, construction cranes, machine tools and automation systems as well as high-performance components for mechanical, hydraulic and electrical drive and control technology. For more information, go to www.liebherr.com.