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MMC-Gamuda orders six TBMs from Herrenknecht Apr 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Herrenknecht is to supply the MMC-Gamuda JV with the first six TBMs for Kuala Lumpur's Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project.
Datuk Lin and Martin Herrenknecht seal the deal

Datuk Lin and Martin Herrenknecht seal the deal

Sources close to the deal say the order is for a new type of Variable Density TBM (VD-TBM) specially designed by Herrenknecht to deal with the complex geology of the alignment under Kuala Lumpur.
It is understood the German TBM manufacturer has been working closely with the MMC-Gamuda JV that last month was selected to excavate the 9.5km tunnelled section of the 51km starter line for Kuala Lumpur's Mass Rapid Transit system.
The sales and purchase agreement, worth MYR360 million (US$117.4 million), was sealed yesterday (Tuesday April 24). MMC-Gamuda will finance the acquisition with a 5% advance payment (MYR400 million) of the total project cost from the Malaysian Government.
The VD-TBM is specially designed to enable operators to vary the density of the slurry used, especially in areas of greater karstic features. The thicker, thixotropic slurry allows the TBM to maintain face pressure despite facing significant fissures and underground cavities along the complex alignment. The higher density slurry will not flow upwards, reducing the risk of slurry fountains on built-up surface.
The technology is backed by tunnelling safety and productivity research from Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany.
"We will be getting the MYR400 million from the Government," confirmed Gamuda Managing Director Datuk Lin Yun Ling at yesterday's press conference in Petaling Jaya. "Delivery of the TBMs will take place by the start of 2013, and tunnelling works will begin in the first quarter of next year. The KVMRT project is still targeted to be completed by mid-2017."
"It will take aound a year to fabricate the machines. We will start the tunnelling works in the first quarter of 2013, and they are expected to be complete in one and a half years," said Lin.
Full underground and elevated MRT alignment

Full underground and elevated MRT alignment

The deal was not wholly unexpected – the companies involved enjoy a close relationship, with the MMC-Gamuda JV purchasing two slurry Mixshields from Herrenknecht in 2003 to excavate the SMART stormwater tunnel.
Martin Herrenknecht told a news conference in Malaysia that the TBMs his company will be supplying will be specially designed to create a pressure shield made up of bentonite and air pressure to counterbalance pressure from ground water and loose soil.
Four more TBMs will be ordered in the next few weeks for the Kenny Hills formations that make up the rest of the underground alignment. Lin said: "These machines will be cheaper and more straightforward in their usage."
The Malaysian MMC-Gamuda JV won the MYR8.2 billion (US$2.65 billion) contract for the tunnelled section of the 51km starter line last month, following a Swiss Challenge method of procurement. In the event the JV submitted the lowest bid anyway, and did not need to exercise its right to meet or better rival qualifying bids.
References
MMC-Gamuda takes Kuala Lumpur Tunnels - TunnelTalk, March 2012
Five in Kuala Lumpur’s MRT Swiss Challenge - TunnelTalk, November 2011
SMART tunnel development in Malaysia – Contact TunnelTalk for pdf copy of a supplement produced in 2005

           

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