The new tunnel boring machine (TBM) to be used during construction of the Snowy 2.0 project in Australia has passed its Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), meaning the machine is now ready to be shipped to the site of the major new renewable project.
The testing was virtually celebrated in a ceremony attended by owner Snowy Hydro and its contractors, joint venture Future Generation and TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht. Present on video conference were Snow Hydro Managing Director and CEO Paul Broad, Chief Executive of Webuild (formerly Salini Impregilo) Pietro Salini and Webuild General Manager Global Operations Claudio Lautizi, Clough Chief Executive, Peter Bennett, and Herrenknecht Chairman Martin Herrenknecht. Webuild leads the joint-venture, which also includes Clough and Webuild’s US subsidiary Lane. Future Generation will undertake the civil works and electromechanical component of Snowy 2.0.
The new TBM has the ability to excavate on an incline, which will allow it to bore the tunnel that will provide access to a cavern nearly one kilometre underground where the power station will be located. The new Snowy 2.0 project will increase the generating capacity of the existing scheme by 2000MW.
Screenshot from the YouTube video of the new TBM, manufactured by Herrenknecht
“It is with great pride that we work on a project like Snowy 2.0 that will contribute to a future of more renewable energy for the country,” said Webuild’s Salini. “The TBM's successful testing is a milestone in a strategic project to which we offer our fullest commitment.”
Snowy Hydro’s Broad said it was great to have this TBM on its way to Australia, with the project full steam ahead at Lobs Hole in New South Wales, Australia.
“The project is already employing 500 people and tunnelling will start by the end of the year. At 205 metreslong and 11 metres in diameter, this TBM is large by global standards and has the big job of tunnelling emergency egress, cable and ventilation tunnel, the inclined pressure shaft and 2km of the headrace tunnel,” Broad said.