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Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024 highlights Europe’s no-dig revolution

A trenchless technology supplier at Pipeline & Gas Expo 2022.
Pipeline & Gas Expo Europe
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A trenchless technology supplier at Pipeline & Gas Expo 2022.

IMAGE SOURCE: Pipeline & Gas Expo

  • Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024 will focus on trenchless technology, highlighting its importance for future-proofing cities across Europe.

  • Trenchless technology, including HDD, micro tunneling, and CIPP, offers minimally disruptive methods for installing and repairing underground utilities.

  • The event, held in Piacenza, Italy, from 29th to 31st May 2024, will feature a dedicated area for trenchless innovations, in collaboration with the Italian Association for Trenchless Technology (IATT).

  • The European trenchless pipe relining market is expected to grow at a 6.0% CAGR from 2023 to 2028, reaching US$676.74 million.

  • Trenchless technology adoption is driven by urbanization, the need to minimize disruption to existing infrastructure, and stricter regulations on leakage mitigation.

  • Trenchless methods are particularly valuable in historic and environmentally sensitive areas, offering solutions that avoid damage to heritage sites and natural habitats.

Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024, taking place 29th–31st May at Piacenza Expo in Italy, will shine a light on trenchless technology as this minimally disruptive method for laying and repairing utility lines grows in importance for future-proofing cities across Europe.


Trenchless technology, also known as no-dig, has revolutionised the installation and repair of underground infrastructure. Unlike traditional methods requiring large excavations, trenchless techniques, such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD), microtunneling, and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), minimise surface disruption and space requirements, translating to numerous benefits for water, gas, electricity, and telecommunications utilities.

Dedicated no-dig area at Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024

Recognising its importance, the third edition of Pipeline & Gas Expo (The Utility Construction Show) is putting trenchless innovation front and centre. Held in Piacenza, Italy, from 29th–31st May 2024, this leading European event for midstream oil and gas and water networks will feature a dedicated area showcasing the latest developments in trenchless technology, organised in collaboration with the Italian Association for Trenchless Technology (IATT).

“The advancements in trenchless technology in recent years have been remarkable and it will be exciting to see some of the utility construction industry’s leading innovations in this area gathered together under one roof at Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024,” says Fabio Potestà, director of Mediapoint & Exhibitions, the organisers of Pipeline & Gas Expo. “Not only will we witness a snapshot of the incredible progress in trenchless technology, we’ll also gain a glimpse into its future as it increasingly becomes the default method on many European jobsites.”

A long history and rapid rise

While trenchless construction has a surprisingly long history, dating back 2,500 years, it wasn't until the 1970s that advancements made no-dig technology more accessible and began to disrupt traditional methods. In the 2020s, the pace of adoption continues to accelerate, with the European trenchless pipe relining market alone expected to grow at a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0% from 2023 to 2028, reaching US$676.74 million.

“With participation at Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024 expected to exceed the 5,000 visitors at the 2022 edition, which was still impacted by COVID-19, this year’s event is set to be an invaluable platform for trenchless technology suppliers to increase awareness of their capabilities and seize on the burgeoning market demand,” Potestà says.

Increasing urbanisation driving growth

Several factors are driving the surge in trenchless technology adoption, particularly in Europe alongside rapid urbanisation. As cities expand, the demand for new and upgraded utility lines rises. However, minimising disruption to existing infrastructure is crucial and trenchless technologies address this challenge perfectly.

Unlike traditional open trenching, they require less overall underground space, reducing the risk of interfering with existing utilities. Additionally, they minimise damage to pavements and significantly limit disruption to traffic and residents in urban areas. This translates to less community frustration associated with open-cut excavation that disrupts daily life. Furthermore, trenchless technologies require a smaller exposed work area compared to open-cut methods, enhancing safety for both workers and the general public.

Practical solution for ageing pipeline repairs

In addition, ageing infrastructure, particularly water and sewage pipelines, presents a growing challenge across Europe and governments are tightening regulations, imposing stricter requirements on leakage mitigation. This, coupled with the need to minimise disruption in historic areas, is also driving significant demand for trenchless technologies.

“In Italy we suffer substantial water loss from ageing pipes, which is especially problematic in the face of increasingly frequent water crises brought on by climate change. However, traditional repair methods relying on open-cut excavation are often impractical due to the abundance of historical sites. Trenchless technology offers a compelling solution, allowing us to address these issues without damaging our heritage and is another reason why trenchless technology is particularly important in Italy and other regions rich in historical significance,” Potestà explains.

Similarly, no-dig methods help avoid harm to flora and fauna in areas of special environmental significance by minimising disruption to soil and habitats – and they are always required in certain scenarios, such as pipelines crossing highways, railways, rivers, and other obstacles.

“Trenchless technology is reshaping the future of utility infrastructure,” Potestà concludes. “Its ability to install, repair, and upgrade lines with minimal disruption goes beyond efficiency and cost-effectiveness; it fosters sustainable and resilient urban development. At Pipeline & Gas Expo 2024, we're proud to help showcase the innovations leading this transformation and demonstrate a commitment to a future where our cities' vital lifelines can evolve seamlessly underground, ensuring uninterrupted essential services for generations. That's a vision we can all embrace.”

Source: Pipeline & Gas Expo