Tunnelling was high on the list of official outings during the state visit of Germany to China in February. Chancellor Angela Merkel and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao were hosted by Dr-Ing E.h. Martin Herrenknecht on a tour of the company's fabrication plant in Guangzhou.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Premier Wen Jiabao (centre left and right) hear of hi-tech TBM technology from Bernd Leuthner (left), Managing Director of Herrenknecht (Guangzhou) with Martin Herrenknecht (right), Chairman of the Board, looking on
The visit marks a decade of operation by the leading TBM manufacturer in China. The first Herrenknecht machine was delivered to Beijing for metro construction in 2000. Since then the German technology has been associated with some 275 projects with as many as 480km of tunnelling built by 172 Herrenknecht machines in 18 cities.
German technology is in high demand for China's programme of rapid urban and economic growth with Herrenknecht TBMs used on major infrastructure projects across the vast country. During a tour of the fabrication plant in Guangzhou, the state leaders were introduced to a 6.95m diameter EPBM being factory tested for operation on construction of the Metro Line 2 in Dongguan.
The German delegation on the official visit to China included 20 high-level representatives of German industry. In presenting the company to the visitors on Friday, 3rd February, Martin Herrenknecht, Chairman of the Board of Management of Herrenknecht AG, spoke of the importance of Chinese and other international reference projects to the company.
Since delivery of its first machine to the country in 2000, Herrenknecht now generates about 20% of its group sales from China. The country's rapid economic growth and increasing urbanization results in a high demand for efficient underground transportation and utility supply line infrastructure. As well as 480km of tunnels built using Herrenknecht technology, a further 200km is being planned.
Among the most important projects for Herrenknecht in China were the two world-record 15.43m slurry TBMs used to excavate the huge highway tunnels beneath the Yangtze River in Shanghai to connect Changxing Island with the mainland. As part of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, two 9m Herrenknecht machines excavated two 4.25km long drives down to 36m below the water level beneath the Yellow River near Zhengzhou.
Herrenknecht maintains nine locations in China; six sales and service locations and three manufacturing and assembly plants, with a total of 850 members of staff. This is described as a win-win situation for the company's locations in Germany and in China. Employees were not only hired in China, but around 1,000 additional jobs were created in Germany as well to meet the growing need for TBMs in Asia.
From left: Martin Herrenknecht, Angela Merkel and Wen Jiabao with other visitors
Greeting Herrenknecht employees in Guangzhou
The Herrenknecht (Guangzhou) Tunnelling Equipment Co Ltd (HTE) branch, visited by the Federal Chancellor and the Premier, is a 100% subsidiary and the first plant established by Herrenknecht in China in 2002. As a world market leader for the design and supply of mechanized tunnelling technology, the family-run Herrenknecht Group employs around 4,000 members of staff worldwide, more than 2,000 of these at the German headquarters in Schwanau.
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments. You share in the wider tunnelling community, so please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language professional.
Your feedback has been submitted successfully and is currently under review.