Robbins EPB will Rebuild Azerbaijan Waterways

May 27, 2009

City of Baku to Renovate Canal Tunnels with Country's First-ever TBM: For centuries a lack of surface water has led to intensive use of groundwater for irrigation in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Samur-Apsheron Irrigation Project will help remedy current water problems by overhauling a main canal that provides water supplies to Baku. New tunnels will be built using a 6.3 m (20.7 ft) diameter Robbins EPB-the first-ever TBM to be used in Azerbaijan.

Contractor Azerkorpu awarded Robbins the contract for the complete EPB boring system in June 2008, which includes the back-up, cutting tools, segment molds, segment manufacturing plant, rolling stock, ventilation system, spares, and operating personnel. Major components of the machine including the main bearing, electrical, and hydraulic systems were procured in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Assembly of the EPB was completed in April 2009 by the Robbins EPB Division in Guangzhou, China.

The TBM is slated for a summer 2009 launch and is expected to bore for eight to nine months in hard clay, silt, sand, and mixed face rock. The machine features a mixed ground cutterhead with interchangeable disc cutters and carbide bits. Four independent foam injection points in the cutterhead evenly consolidate the face in varying ground conditions. Multiple detection systems provide electronic information about clogged ports, preventing unnecessary cutter and cutterhead wear.

The machine will excavate one tunnel of approximately 3.5 km (2.2 mi). As the TBM bores, it will line the tunnel with 300 mm (12 inch) thick precast concrete, universal type segments in a 5+1 arrangement. Once the tunnels are complete in 2010, Azerkorpu plans to use the EPB on several other projects in the country.

The Samur-Apsheron Irrigation Project, for the Azerbaijan Government’s Irrigation Department, consists of open canals and TBM-driven tunnels totaling 5.7 km (3.5 mi) in length. The network will convey water from the Samur River to use for both irrigation and the new Takhtakerpu hydropower station, which will provide power to the Cusar District in Baku.

The Robbins Company
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29100 Hall Street
Solon, OH 44139, USA
PH.: 253.872.4484

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