The Caquende Hydroelectric Power Plant in Brazil: The AT – Pipe Umbrella System demonstrates its Efficiency and Safety

Near the town of Bonfim in the Federal State of Minas Gerais northwest of Rio de Janeiro, a new 4MW hydroelectric power plant is being built on the Macaúbas River: The PCH Caquende.

Once completed, the power plant will feed approx. 18,500MWh of electricity per year into the power supply system. The PCH Caquende consists of 3 horizontal Francis turbines that are operated at an influx rate of 7m³/s of water. The concrete dam that forms part of the power plant reaches a maximum height of 2.5m and is 60m long.

Within the scope of construction work, a 350m long single tube inlet tunnel is being excavated. Since the tunnel portal is located in an unstable zone, the Type AT – 76 Pipe Umbrella System was used for pre-support.

Due to the self-drilling installation process, the AT – Pipe Umbrella Support System decreases deformations and increases the stability and safety in the working area.

DSI Underground Brasil supplied the complete AT – 76 Pipe Umbrella System on short notice for the construction of the PCH Caquende. The required system components included the AT – Starter Unit with drill bit, AT – Extension Tubes, injection valves in the injection drillings, several AT – Drilling Adapters, the required drill rods and AT – Grouting Caps.

The pipe umbrella tubes were installed piece by piece and overlapped using conventional drill booms with rotary-percussive rock drills. The general contractor was very satisfied with the fast, self-drilling installation of the pipes and their high directional accuracy during installation. Furthermore, DSI Underground Brasil’s specialists supported the jobsite personnel during the professional installation.


Macaúbas Energia Renovável Ltda, Brazil

General Contractor

Construtora Ocmx Ltda., Brazil

Consulting Engineers

Constructora Sofisa, S. A., Brazil

DSI Unit

DSI Underground Brasil, Brazil

DSI Scope

Production, supply, technical support

DSI Products

Type AT – 76 Pipe Umbrella System with accessories

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DSI Underground Systems Brasil Indústria e Comércio Ltda.

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