Veteran Robbins TBM to carve out Faroe Islands Tunnel

Dec 07, 2010

Main Beam Machine launched for Hydropower Plant Extension

The Faroes, a collection of 18 windswept islands in the North Atlantic, are home to nearly 48,000 people. Situated between Iceland and Norway, the mountainous islands receive an average of 250 days of rainfall annually, creating significant runoff. These features make the islands ideal for small hydropower plants utilizing collector tunnels to transport rainwater. The first and only TBM to ever operate in the Faroes, a 3.35 m (11.0 ft) diameter Robbins Main Beam machine, is extending one such hydropower project with an 8.4 km (5.2 mi) collector tunnel on the island of Eysturoy. A launch ceremony was held in mid-September 2010.

The Robbins TBM, for Danish and Faroese contractors MT Hojgaard and J&K Petersen, was originally purchased in 1984 and has since excavated about 25 km (16 mi) of tunnel for the Eidi Hydropower Plant. The latest project, known as Eidi II, is part of a new green energy initiative by the utility agency for the Faroes: Streymoy, Eysturoy and Vágoy (SEV). The tunnel will collect water from 25 streams, increasing the annual capacity of the plant from about 43 GWh to about 60 GWh.

Prior to startup, the SEV-owned machine underwent some refurbishment to the gearboxes, main bearing, lube system, and hydraulic hoses. "Prior to starting up this project, we contacted Robbins for an assessment. We got an immediate response, and two men were sent to inspect the machine. They concluded it was in good condition following the upgrades," said Anders Nedergaard-Hansen, Head of the Power Production Department for SEV. Robbins is also providing key spare components including the cutterhead, grippers, hydraulic, and lube systems. Robbins Field Service personnel have also been provided for the project duration.

By October 2010, the machine had excavated several hundred meters of tunnel in basalt rock with no problems. "We are looking into using the machine for additional projects in the next five to ten years. The TBM was well-built by Robbins, and we have done a good job maintaining it," said Nedergaard-Hansen. Tunneling at Eidi II is expected to be complete in March 2013, and the newly expanded plant commissioned later that year.

The Robbins Company
29100 Hall Street
Solon, OH 44139 USA
Tel.: +1 440 248 3303
Fax: +1 440 248 1702

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The Robbins Company

44139 Solon, OH. USA


+1 440 248 3303


+1 440 248 1702



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