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RAF Kinloss Sea Outfalls

RAF Kinloss

Planes and helicopters flying from RAF Kinloss provide vital military defence and emergency support to Atlantic shipping. VolkerInfra helped keep their way clear.

RAF Kinloss on the Moray Firth in the north east of Scotland is the base of three squadrons carrying out around the clock surveillance and search and rescue missions over the Atlantic.

Its 2.3km runway has an area of over 100,000 square metres which during the average year will collect around 65m litres of water. All of it needs to be collected, carefully cleaned and carried to the deep water channel of the Moray estuary to meet strict EU environmental regulations.

VolkerInfra's specialist expertise was called on in Summer 2006 by engineering firm AMEC, which was committed to installing two underground outfalls to handle the waste water: one was to be 484m long and 630mm in diameter and made of polyethylene alone, while the other had to be clad in a steel outer sleeve with a diameter of 323mm and a length of 775m.

The construction was carried out in four stages taking just under three months. The pipes were made up from sections on dry land; holes were drilled; the pipes were towed out to sea and pulled back into the holes; and, finally, special nozzles known as ‘diffusers', and protection structures were constructed on the subsea ends.

Services included:

  • In-house design and engineering, trenchless techniques and marine pipeline installation
  • Drilling underneath environmentally sensitive sand dunes
  • Special measures to avoid disturbance of local dolphin population
  • Working from high security area at operational RAF base

Facts and figures

  • Type of works:
    Horizontal directional drilling / marine pipelines
  • Client:
    AMEC / Ministry of Defence
  • Value of project:
  • Duration of Project:
    2006 - 2007
  • Roles/Responsibilities:
    Main Contractor (outfall works)
  • Contract Type:
    Lump sum (design & construct)
  • Project categories
    Cable and pipeline installation