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In touch with our customers, Van Vulpen!

As a machine builder we believe the right way to keep in touch with our customers is to meet up with them, offline or online, in the office, or on jobsites! Just before the holiday season our marketing manager Elsedien met up with Cor Versluis, drilling executor at Van Vulpen, a company situated in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. We were happy that Cor, made time for her to personally show her a unique jobsite hidden in the Dutch dunes.

On December 5th we visited the company Van Vulpen. This time no conversation with a driller, CEO or director, but a meeting with a real boss! Cor Versluis has been working at Van Vulpen since 1991 and has been drilling for 30 years. His modest job title ‘drilling executor’ suits his character, but less so the impressive projects that Cor has completed. In addition to completing the longest drilling of 2,300 meters in the Netherlands in his hometown Meerkerk, there are countless projects with which he has earned the necessary respect from his peers and colleagues.

He has seen the company grow and develop over the years. Where he started with a small drilling rig on tracks and 3-4 people staff, the company grew in personnel, size of drilling rigs and size of projects. The mentality of Cor and his team has not changed, the organizational structure of the company has; now that there is more than 600 permanent employees

Unique project, hidden behind the Dutch dunes

At the project we visited, two electric Prime Drilling rigs are drilling towards each other, a so-called intersect drilling. The drilling goes under the dunes, with a length of 820 and 856 meters. They are carried out by a 230 tonner on one side and a 300 tonner on the other side. In the protected dune area of Wijk aan Zee, only electric drill rigs are allowed to run. The use of electric rigs makes a significant difference in reducing nitrogen emissions on the project. Cor explains he has been very satisfied with Prime Drilling electric rigs since 2019. They require less maintenance, work quieter and more efficiently. SiteTec’s electrical mixing unit, the M2002E, is also located at the jobsite and has been working on larger projects at Van Vulpen since 2008. Besides this unit, a SiteTec pumping unit P2500D is running, one of the first units that SiteTec built 20 years ago. A sturdy unit that Cor believes will last a while longer. He has been working with SiteTec units for many years and proudly remembers that he came up with the design of the MP750E together with Corné years ago. A mix pump unit that contributed to the success of Van Vulpen. The unit with many operating hours, has successfully completed many projects and was fully overhauled last year. A design to be proud of for Cor, but definitely also for Corné. After the first design, several more followed, units that Van Vulpen still works with every day.

We are van Vulpen

It is good to hear from Cor that even with the changed organizational structure, he can indicate with which machines he needs to deliver the work. He gets the needed trust which is necessary for challenging projects like this in Wijk aan Zee. It is a project where no risks should be taken. Needless to say, the number of drillings in  protected dune area will be minimized by the contracting authority TenneT and carefully thought through by Van Vulpen. With a guarantee of 0 risk and a high accuracy of the intersect of 0.50 meters, Van Vulpen distinguishes itself from their competitors. “We are van Vulpen” is rightly their proud slogan. The preliminary phase and preparation is longer than with other projects, but the implementation is therefore proceeding with the desired precision and on schedule. For example, a mound has been created on the beach, reinforced with sheet pile walls, which even withstood the storm a few weeks ago. The mound was constructed to avoid the difference in height between the two locations and thus to eliminate the risk of loss or leakage of bentonite in the protected area. The drillings that are being carried out are for wind farms in the North Sea. A nice contrast while we are literally standing in the smoke of the big Dutch steel factory of Tata Steel.


During our conversation, the driller and other operators from the team also walk into the canteen to warm up, the wind from the North Sea is not mild. It is good to see that within such a large organization, this drill team is very close together. Even when Cor is not on site, the boys continue to run smoothly. He likes to pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation, but he also shows his confidence in them. Going karting together next week, the Van Vulpen Christmas BBQ, and then spending time with family and friends at Christmas is something they are all looking forward to! Van Vulpen mainly carries out their work in the Benelux, and they all seem to really appreciate the drive back home in the evening; and so does the home front!

Thank you Cor for your time and the nice conversation! And showing us this impressive project on a unique location.

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