Russia confirms order for largest TBM ever Aug 2011
Herrenknecht News Release
In early July 2011, Russian operator company NCC (Nevskaya Concession Company) placed an order with Herrenknecht for the construction of a 19.25m Mixshield TBM to excavate a new highway tunnel under the River Neva in St Petersburg. The machine for the Orlovski Tunnel will surpass all previous TBMs in diameter.
Prime Minister Putin and Martin Herrenknecht in St Petersburg

Prime Minister Putin and Martin Herrenknecht in St Petersburg

On the occasion of the contract signing, Martin Herrenknecht met with Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, in St. Petersburg who wanted to learn more about the giant machine and its application on the challenging River Neva underpass.
For Herrenknecht, this is the biggest single order in the company's history and represents a technical challenge that has been in technical engineering design since 2009. Through collaboration between the Russian operator company, NCC (Nevskaya Concession Company), Herrenknecht AG engineers will build a machine of immense proportion.
On its own, the tunnelling shield will weigh about 3,800 tonne and deliver 8,400kW of drive power to the enormous 19.25m diameter cutting wheel. The leap in diameter to 19.25m will enable the machine to excavate a powerful 600m3 of soil per hour. The tunnel face area is more than 50% larger than that for the largest TBMs currently in operation in the world.
A Mixshield is selected as the quickest and safest solution for driving the 1km long tunnel under the Neva in the face of the high groundwater pressures. An extremely ambitious timetable has been set for implementation of the project. Tunnelling is set to begin in St Petersburg in the spring of 2013, with the tunnel due to be taken into operation in 2016.
Table 1. Herrenknecht's world record TBMs
1995 Adler Tunnel, Switzerland Single Shield TBM 12.535m
1997 Elbe Tunnel, Germany Mixshield 14.200m
2001 Lefortovo Tunnel, Russia Mixshield 14.200m
2004 Silver Forest Tunnel, Russia Mixshield 14.200m
2005 M30, Spain EPB Shield 15.200m
2006 Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel, China 2 Mixshields 15.430m
2010 Sparvo, Italy EPB Shield 15.550m
2011 Orlovski Tunnel, Russia Mixshield 19.250m
The aim of this new, record breaking TBM bored tunnel is to provide significant relief in the center of St Petersburg and allow a continuous traffic flow through a city divided by the river. Until today, vehicles have had to use the various bridges in order to cross the River Neva from the city center to the northern districts and the orbital freeway. Most of these are gated bridges that hold up traffic for passage of shipping on the Volga/Baltic waterway. Valentina Matviyenko, Governor of St Petersburg, explained that the tunnel is required urgently to provide an uninterrupted crossing of the Neva, especially during the shipping season. In addition to linking the banks of the Neva, the Orlovski Tunnel will contribution to the economic development of Russia by allowing longer bridge opening times to support increased shipping on the Neva.
The mega-tunnel, with two three-lane carriageway levels, would considerably improve the traffic capacity.
The Orlovski Tunnel project is a pioneering German-Russian project, setting new engineering and constructional standards in large diameter tunnelling.
Tracking the world's mega-TBMs - TunnelTalk, July 2011
Giant TBM accepted and heading for Italy - TunnelTalk, Dec 2010
St Petersburg Neva crossing plan - TunnelTalk, Jan 2010

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