Mighty Breakthrough for Europe's Biggest Boring Machine
Jul 29, 2020
In Italy, the largest tunnel boring machine ever used in Europe successfully completed its drive in June. The supersize borer (Earth Pressure Balance Shield, diameter 15.87 meters) made by Herrenknecht in Schwanau, Baden/Southern Germany, dug 7.5 kilometers of highway tunnel through the Apennines. In cooperation with the customer, Herrenknecht designed a system for the machine, to protect the site crew from the expected methane gas deposits in the ground.
Following the specifications of customer Pavimental S.p.A., Herrenknecht designed and manufactured an EPB machine (Earth Pressure Balance Shield). Working closely with the contractor, the Herrenknecht engineers tailored the tunnel boring machine to the specific requirements of the project.
Among other things, they implemented a comprehensive warning and protection system to reliably protect the site crew against potential dangers from the methane gas deposits predicted underground during the advance. This foresight definetely paid off.
Following just 12 months of design and assembly, in August 2016 the EPB Shield was punctually ready at Herrenknecht in Schwanau for formal acceptance by the contractor and representatives of the client, Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A.
Italian contractors and infrastructure projects are known and respected worldwide for very large tunnel boring profiles and complex tunnel geologies. Herrenknecht is a reliable pioneer partner to them with matching expertise and innovative ability. With the production of the Santa Lucia machine, Herrenknecht beat the existing European record for TBM diameters of 15.55 meters. It had been held since 2010 by the Herrenknecht EPB Shield for the Sparvo tunnel, also for the expansion of the A1 motorway in Italy.
Project data Santa Lucia
MACHINE / PROJECT DATA S-900 SANTA LUCIA
Machine type: EPB Shield
Shield diameter: 15,870mm
Drive power: 8,750kW
Drive length: 7,551m
Geology: limestone, marl, siltstone, shale, sandstone
Client: Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A.
Contractor: Pavimental S.p.A.
Herrenknecht AGHerrenknecht AG is the only company worldwide to deliver tunnel boring machines for all geologies and in all diameters – ranging from 0.10 to 19 meters. The product range comprises tailor-made machines for traffic, supply and disposal tunnels, technologies for the installation of pipelines, as well as additional equipment and service packages. Herrenknecht also manufactures boring technology for vertical and inclined shafts, and deep drilling rigs.
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