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.