P.P. O’Connor has acquired Galvac Limited, a provider of vacuum excavation equipment.
Galvac Limited, head quartered in Salford and operating nationally, was part of civil engineering contractor GPL Group. The acquisition is for the assets and employees of Galvac and secures the immediate future of 28 employees of the company.
Charmaine O’Connor, Chief Executive, P. P. O’Connor Group said: “We are delighted we have been able to acquire Galvac Limited and secure the jobs of its team so quickly. We are looking forward to welcoming the members of the Galvac team into P.P. O’Connor. This acquisition complements the range of services we offer to our clients and it’s testament to the hard work of everyone at P. P. O’Connor that we are able to expand our business further in such a positive manner.”
Commenting on the transaction, Ben Woolrych, partner at FRP Advisory, said: “Galvac is a solid business with a strong reputation for providing a high-quality service within a very specialist sector. By working closely with the directors to market the business and its assets for sale, we’ve been able to find a buyer that has strong synergies with the company and secure a deal that delivers the best possible result for the parties involved. The administrators were advised by Martin March of Turner Parkinson,”
The acquisition provides P.P. O’Connor with an industry leading fleet of vacuum excavation trucks that can service a national footprint supporting major infrastructure contracts, utilities and the broader industry with the latest innovation in safe dig techniques.
The Galvac team have been busy in Manchester city centre recently, using one of our Dino 3 units to assist with pipe replacement works on behalf of a main contractor.
The construction of high rise blocks occasionally causes problems with existing utilities as these can easily be disturbed or damaged during the process of piling – the creation of deep concrete piles within the ground which are needed to support tall structures.
Existing sewers or drains which are damaged as the contractor digs during the boring process then become filled with concrete which in turn can cause a back up of sewage / surface water which may go undetected for a period of time.
The Galvac team were employed to use vacuum excavation in order to remove ground around existing services to a depth of around 5 metres so that a pipe which had become blocked in this way could be exposed and safely replaced without further damage to pipework.
With an excavation area of approximately 5 metres long by 1 metre wide, the use of a vacuum excavator allowed the excavation zone to be kept to a minimum and meant that the contractor could literally just replace the section of blocked pipe with limited disruption to the area.
Within 2 shifts we had vacuum excavated through a series of services, cleared around the blocked pipe and the contractor had replaced the earth and reinstated the pipe.
Galvac has taken delivery of two 39 tonne chassis vacuum excavators (or VacEx). Manufactured in Germany by MTS and priced at £390k, they will be the only two of their kind currently in the North West.
Both units, which are Dino 5 models, were purchased by Galvac, GPL Group’s specialist vacuum excavation division. They have a skip capacity of 12.9m3 with the ability to be powered by remote control to excavate subsoil and soft rock during construction work.
Galvac provide vacuum excavation to some of the UK’s leading construction and utility companies as a safe, cost effective alternative to conventional excavation methods. Vacuum excavation is regularly used during the removal and replacement of utility pipework to ensure no damage.
The first of the new units delivered to Galvac is a high tip and is the only one of its kind in the North West. The second unit is what is known as a triple fan. There are currently only a few other triple fan units in the country.
The ‘high tip’ will enable the unit to tip material to go straight into an accompanying truck, removing the need for double handling of waste on site and allowing the excavator to continue its task of removal.
The triple fan 39 tonne unit is highly powerful and will reduce time on projects significantly due to its ability to excavate at up to 250m away.
Mick Thomas of Galvac said: “This is a significant investment for us and will truly position us as a major player in this area. The two new units will join our existing fleet of five 26 tonne units which means we can offer clients flexibility on projects to suit their needs.
“With the significant work on our highways and utility networks, not only here in the North West, this equipment will be in high demand and we already have a healthy pipeline for our new additions.”
Galvac has delivered intensive training for the operators of the new equipment. The dedicated team at Galvac will all receive 120 hours of training by a qualified operator before they are put in control of any of the units. In line with P.P. O’Connor’s commitment to the highest standards of health and safety, there will always be a two-man fully trained team working with the units on sites.
Vacuum excavation is typically used to expose live utilities under highways or footpaths safely and efficiently.
There are several benefits of vacuum excavation over more traditional excavation methods (such as a mini digger or shovel.)
Firstly and crucially, vacuum excavation presents a much lower chance of damage being caused to utilities as there is no mechanical interference to the ground.
It is also beneficial from a safety point of view, particularly when compared to a hand dig where there is a significantly increased risk of injury to operatives.
Vacuum excavation is also faster than more traditional methods. In normal conditions with buried pipes and cables, a manual dig would typically remove less than 1 cubic metre of material per 6 hours. Using vac-ex, up to 24 cubic metres of moderately heavy soil could be removed in the same time period. For this reason, vacuum excavation tends to be more cost effective than a hand dig.
Excavation site size can be reduced by up to a third compared to the use of a mini-digger, which makes vacuum excavation ideal for areas where space or access is an issue. Because the earth is collected in the vehicle (with up to 12 cubic metres of spoil tipped in a designated on site area), site cleanliness is also improved, which is particularly beneficial in public or heavy traffic areas.