TBM RECORDER Veteran TBM continues work on Faroe Islands Nov 2010
Desiree Willis, Technical Writer, The Robbins Company
New run for 25 year old TBM on the Faroe Islands
- Purchased originally in 1984, the first and only TBM to ever operate on the Faroes Islands is several hundred meters into a new drive for the Eidi II hydroelectric plant on the island of Eysturoy.
- Bought new by the Danish and Faroese contractors MT Hojgaard and J&K Petersen, the 3.35m (11ft) diameter TBM is excavating a new 8.4km (5.2 mile) collector tunnel having already excavated about 25km (16 miles) of tunnel for the initial Eidi hydro scheme development.
- The latest project is part of a new green energy initiative by the utility agency for the Faroes: Streymoy, Eysturoy and Vàgoy (SEV). Hydroelectricity is ideal for the collection of 18 windswept islands in the North Atlantic that is home to nearly 48,000 people. Situated between Iceland and Norway, the mountainous islands receive an average of 250 days of rainfall annually, creating significant runoff that can be channeled in collector tunnels to the generating turbines of small hydropower plants. Started with a launch ceremony in mid-September 2010, the new tunnel will collect water from 25 streams to increase the annual capacity of the Eidi plant from about 43 GWh to about 60 GWh.
First cut for the veteran TBM
- Prior to startup, the SEV-owned machine underwent some refurbishment to the gearboxes, main bearing, lube system, and hydraulic hoses. "Prior to beginning this project, we contacted Robbins for an assessment. We got an immediate response, and two men were sent to inspect the machine. They concluded it was in good condition following the upgrades," said Anders Nedergaard-Hansen, Head of the Power Production Department for SEV. Robbins is also providing key spare components including for the cutterhead, grippers, hydraulic, and lube systems. Robbins Field Service personnel have also been provided for the project duration.
- By October 2010, the machine had excavated several hundred meters of tunnel in basalt rock with no problems. "We are looking into using the machine for additional projects in the next five to ten years. The TBM was well-built by Robbins, and we have done a good job maintaining it," said Nedergaard-Hansen. Tunneling at Eidi II is expected to be complete in March 2013, and the newly expanded plant commissioned later that year.
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