DCA Europe

Annual Congress

Recommendation – Education – Networking

Annual Congress

The DCA holds its annual congress in October, to which European and non-European members of the association are invited, but also other interested parties. The event takes place over three days with an arrival day and two days of lectures. In addition to the very interesting lecture programme with top-class technical lectures, the DCA offers its members the opportunity to present their own products and introduce their company at the event. An entertaining social programme accompanies the event, which primarily focuses on the professional exchange among industry professionals and is highly appreciated by the participating members.

! Save the date !

28th DCA Annual Congress

Topic: ¿HDD ready?

Venue: Barcelona, Hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza

Date: 09.-11.10.2024

The 28th annual congress of the DCA will be held in Barcelona at the hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza from 09-11 October 2024.

The Catalan capital offers a great wealth of architecture, art and culture (including many museums) and is therefore not for nothing the most visited city in Spain. Gaudí’s iconic Basílica de la Sagrada Família is well worth a visit, as is the Museu Picasso, the Gothic Quarter and much more. Besides famous landmarks and bustling mercados, there is another jewel of the city: nature! It surrounds Barcelona on all sides. Miles of dreamy sandy beaches, the Serra de Collserola mountain range with the Parc Natural de Collserola, one of the world’s largest parks in the immediate vicinity of the city.

„Call for Papers“

For the congress program, interesting topic suggestions for presentations are still being sought. Please send us your suggestions inclusive a short abstract until 23.04.2024 to the DCA office.

Would you like to become a sponsor for the annual congress? You can find all the information you need in this brochure.

These sponsors are involved so far:

Sponsors of the Annual Congress

Shortage of personnel at companies is the focus

The 27th DCA Annual Congress, which took place last week in Leipzig, was virtually fully booked for the first time with over 210 participants from Europe and the USA. In addition to an attractive congress program, the steady growth in participants is also due to the steady increase in members in Germany and especially throughout Europe. While just over 100 member companies were active in the DCA in 2018, the association will count over 170 member companies by the end of the year. An increase of about 70% in 5 years. Tendency rising!

After an introductory highly interesting lecture by Ralf Schuster, geopolitical expert from Frankfurt am Main, who opened the congress with a presentation on “Geopolitics – an explanation for everything?”, the DCA offered, as always, very interesting lectures and a varied supporting program on both days, which met with great approval among the participants.

The central point of this year’s event was a panel discussion on the upcoming large cable routes (including Südlink, Südostlink) on Thursday afternoon. The panel discussion was moderated by journalist Dr. Antje Wöhnke and President Jorn Stoelinga. During the lively discussion round, which was divided into three sections, topics such as “quality of the tender, technical implementation, duration of approval procedures or the ever-increasing shortage of personnel” were discussed first and foremost. As a result of the approximately three-hour round in the fully occupied congress room of the Hotel The Westin in Leipzig, it could be stated that only through a comprehensive dialogue between project sponsor, planner and client and all other parties involved in the project, the present major tasks can be mastered both in terms of time and technology. The DCA is available as a supporter at any time, so president Jorn Stoelinga.

The topic of “shortage of skilled workers”, which is not only circulating in the HDD sector, was seen by many participants as by far the biggest obstacle to implementation. Delivery times for equipment or materials could be taken into account in planning. The use of machines without personnel is not yet possible despite AI. Among other things, participants called for the establishment of a separate training branch for the next generation of HDD personnel and thus to make the HDD profession as a whole more attractive. This is a task that must also be tackled from the association’s point of view.

At the evening event in the Panorama Tower in the heart of the city, discussions continued for a long time with a great view over Leipzig and initial solutions were found for the problems discussed. On Friday, the conference continued with various HDD project presentations from all over the world, including Peru and the UK.

The conference documents and the presentations as well as further information about the event can be viewed and downloaded in the members area.

See you again at the 28th edition of the DCA Annual Congress on 09 – 11.10.2024 in Barcelona, Spain. Please save the date!


Sponsors Annual Congress
HDD industry an important building block of the energy transition

The 26th DCA Annual Congress in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK was held as an attendance event and was very well attended with over 145 participants from Europe and the USA. After an absence of 10 years – in 2012 Cambridge was the venue – a DCA Annual Congress was again held on the British Isle. More than 10 new members from the UK in the last two years had persuaded the board to move the association’s main event to the birthplace of the famous playwright and lyricist William Shakespeare in England’s Midlands, despite Brexit. All participants quickly agreed that the professional exchange in the industry “face to face” during the congress and in the course of the once again extremely attractive spouse programme cannot be replaced by telephone calls or video conferences. You simply have to be there!

“To drill or not to drill, that’s the question ” was the stylish motto of the congress or perhaps expressed in other words, “how and by whom should the multitude of HDD projects actually be carried out in the course of the energy turnaround, the connections of the wind farms, the north-south connections of the high-voltage cables, the upcoming pipeline layings and quite apart from that in the course of the acute broadband expansion in the next two decades”. The investments that are being made are reaching dimensions that pose a great challenge to the industry in the wake of a constant shortage of skilled workers and supply bottlenecks, but thus also characterise it as an important building block of the energy transition, without these projects cannot in fact be realised. In addition, there are technical challenges for HDD technology and the supplier industry, especially in the area of laying the power lines, which have yet to be solved. These and other questions were discussed and answers sought during the three-day congress.

After an introductory highly interesting lecture by Heinz Leuters, experienced pilot and flight instructor as well as certified leadership expert on the topic “Don’t f**k up the Landing” “Mastering risks when they occur – Making situation-specific decisions”, there were again two workshops on the topics The role of drilling mud in the borehole and Accuracy in HDD drillings in addition to interesting lectures on HDD technology. Conclusion: Both topics are far from having been dealt with and discussed to the end. However, there is a clear tendency to discuss the topic of Accuracy in HDD drillings” in more detail at the next DCA members’ forum in May 2023.

From the series of technically and thematically very appealing presentations on both congress days, the joint presentation by Renzo Chirulli, Vermeer and Thorsten Kaas, Max Streicher GmbH & Co. KG on the subject of “Plug & Drill – The fully electric HDD Jobsite”. Although both companies are factually competing on the market and thus naturally want to place their products and services first and foremost, the two lecturers understood how to present the topic in an excellent manner, factually and technically at a high level, without the focus on their own product becoming apparent here. From the point of view of President Jorn Stoelinga and his board, the lecture was a living association work in the sense of the DCA family! Many thanks for that!

The congress documents and the presentations of the workshops as well as further information on the event will soon be available for viewing and downloading in the members’ area.

See you again at the 27th edition of the DCA Annual Congress on 4-6 October 2023 in Leipzig in the east of the Republic. Please note the date!

Program of the Annual Congress:
Sponsors of the Annual Congress

HDD industry faces major challenges in Germany

The 25th DCA Annual Congress in Bonn, Königswinter again took place as a live event and was able to report a new record with over 160 participants. They all felt that meeting “face to face” is by far the best way for a professional exchange in our industry and during the again very attractive social program.

The event, which was held under the motto “From Pipe to Cable”, was dominated by the many and varied tasks facing the HDD industry as a result of the energy transition and the expansion of broadband in Germany. The investments that will be made in both areas over the next few decades are reaching dimensions that the industry has never seen before in this concentrated form. HDD will play an important role in both broadband expansion and the laying of power lines from north to south in Germany. This situation will not be different in other member countries. in other member countries. As things stand at present, the capacities of qualified planning and civil engineering companies available on the market will not easily be able to meet the demand. The challenges that still have to be overcome from a technical point of view, including the laying of power cables in crossing areas using HDD, were given a brief foretaste in the presentation by Tennet.

After a highly interesting introductory lecture by Prof. Dr. Martin Korte from the Technical University of Braunschweig on the topic “Shaping the future – paradoxes of decision-making”, two workshops on the topics “Subsoil parameters” and “Drilling fluids and cuttings, disposal and recycling” were held in addition to the lectures on the aforementioned topics. Intense discussions took place in the workshops. Conclusion: Both topics are far from being finalised.

The congress documents and the presentations of the workshops as well as further information on the event will soon be available for viewing and downloading in the members’ area.

Downloads German:


Downloads English:


Im Zeichen des Umweltschutzes

DCA executive secretary Dietmar Quante welcomed about 145 participants at the 24th annual congress on 16th to 18th October 2019 in Krakow. The environmental factor in particular was the focus of attention, including drilling in nature reserves and electrically operated drilling rigs.

In addition to the lecture programme, the DCA also offered an interesting spouse programme for all participants. In addition to a visit to the city of Krakow, which is well worth seeing, and a guided tour on the subject of “Jewish Life in Krakow”, including a visit to Oskar Schindler’s factory, the evening event took place on Thursday at the Wieliczka 135 m salt mine in the Warsaw Festival Hall.

In Poland, a lot has happened in the field of HDD, especially in recent years. This was demonstrated by Roland Kośka of Gaz-System S.A. in his lecture. Over the past ten years, the gas network operator has continuously expanded its network, using HDD in particular in addition to the Microtunneling and Direct Pipe processes (in more recent projects). In the past, however, inadequate equipment, faulty planning and lack of construction supervision made the work more difficult. More uniform standards and significantly more competition on the Polish HDD market have considerably improved the situation in recent years, according to Kośka (…)

Read more in our members’ area.