SELI set for tough drive on Kishanganga May 2009
- Continuing its reach into India, a specialized SELI double shield universal TBM will take on the challenging ground conditions for the Kishanganga hydropower project in the state of Jammu and Kashmire in Northern India.
Kishanganga project map
- The 6.1m diameter TBM will excavate 14km of the 23.5km headrace tunnel for Indian company Hindustan Construction Company (HCC). The contract, valued at €36 million ($US50 million), is the first of many projects in India where HCC and SELI have agreed to cooperate.
- HCC has a $US560 million turnkey-contract with India's National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and has entered a joint venture with UK-based consulting engineer Halcrow Group on a 98-2% share to design and build the 330MW scheme on the Kishanganga River which is a tributary of the Jhelum . As well as the long headrace, the project includes 37m high concrete rockfill dam, the long headrace tunnel and an underground powerhouse to accommodate three 110MW turbines. SELI has been subcontracted to design and build the new 6.1 double shield TBM with specific features to cope with the poor and variable rock conditions and zones of squeezing ground expected in the formations along the headrace alignment. According to SELI the machine will have very high cutterhead torque and thrust and a capacity to over-cut. The machine will also have extended facilities to treat the ground ahead of the face.
- The TBM will be manufactured in SELI's new factory in Rome. The entire contract will last five years including TBM manufacturing and mobilization time. Tunnel construction will begin in 2010.
- Pakistan is racing to build its own hydropower project down stream of the Indian project where the Jhelum River, crosses the boarder into Pakistan. The rival projects have been a source of contention between the two countries which both claim a right to the river water. Pakistan contends the Kishanganga project will divert water away from agriculture, while India points to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty that says whichever country builds the hydropower project first has rights to the water. In 2005 talks broke down between the two countries to build the Kishanganga project as a joint development.
NHPC Inc. Kishanganga Project