The TBM is over 13.5 m in ø and weighs over 1,000 tonnes and has a length of 180 m
Bore ø of tunnels: 13.05 m
Internal ø: 11.40 m
Road tunnels: 2,800 m each
Length of project: March 2016 till March 2018
Total workers: Up to 4,500
Material: two Slurry System TBMs, each with a cutter head power of 3,500 kW
The purpose of the tunnels is to allow greater transit capacity between the highly populated districts of the Nile Delta to the Sinai Peninsula. At present traffic flow is restricted: many people have to use the system of ferries that operate out of Port Said. Stephan: ‘From a technical standpoint, the tunnels will each be 2.8 km long with an internal diameter of 11.40 metres allowing for two lanes of traffic per tunnel. They will be excavated using two Slurry System TBMs, each with a cutter head power of 3,500 kW. This type of TBM transports spoil to the surface in a bentonite solution through pipes attached to the TBM by a telescopic pipe system. On reaching the surface all the bentonite slurry is run through a separation plant to extract the spoil, thereby making the bentonite solution reusable, reducing wastage and helping the environment.
The tunnel is lined with concrete segments each weighing close to 13 tons, which are assembled into a ring behind the TBM as it progresses steadily towards its destination. These rings provide safety to users and facilitate the installation of the road deck. All the concrete segments used on this project were cast onsite using specially imported precision molds, and reinforced steel cages are also manufactured onsite by our own trained personnel.
Due to the project worksite being on the Sinai Peninsula, logistics of transporting materials and people has taken a lot of careful planning. The remote location also makes it a new experience for the 4,500 people presently employed. The internet provides the important contact between workers and their loved ones. The workforce is multinational, which necessitates catering of different cuisines each day. We agreed a contract to work together with iPS of The Netherlands to provide specialist personnel highly experienced in TBM tunnel
production to assist us with meeting our personnel needs.’