TERRATEC announced the delivery of the first two of three 6.61m diameter Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines (EPBMs) that will be used by Gulermak-Tata Projects Limited for its underground works contracts on Line 1 of the new Pune Metro Rail Project, in Maharashtra, India, following successful factory testing of the S78 and S79 machines this month.
Earlier this year, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MahaMetro) announced that the joint venture had won both of the twin-tube tunnel packages on the new 16.56km-long north-south metro corridor. The 5km underground section – which runs from the College of Agriculture in Shivajinagar to Swargate and has five stations – is considered the most challenging portion of the line, as it passes under the densely populated areas of Kasba Peth, Budhwar Peth and Mandai market.
“We are now ready to launch TERRATEC TBMs S78 and S79 – which will be known as ‘Mutha’ and ‘Mula’ – as both these machines were successfully tested at TERRATEC’s factory by our engineers and found fit to be despatched to our Pune Metro site,” said Ashish Dwivedi, Geotechnical Manager for the Gulermak-TPL JV. “TERRATEC TBMs have a very successful track record in India, with seven of the company’s machines currently completing tunnels for Mumbai Metro, and we expect to complete excavation on Pune Metro within the project schedule for our 5km of Line 1 TBM tunnels.”
Major challenges on the project will include tunnelling beneath century-old surface structures, crossing under the river Mutha and TBM lowering and dismantling in the very built-up areas of Budhwarpeth and Mandai stations with limited access available.
The versatile TERRATEC EPBMs have robust mixed-face dome-style cutterheads designed to work effectively in the compact Basalt that is expected on these contracts at pressures of up to 4 bar. As the TBMs progress, they will install 1,400mm wide by 275mm thick pre-cast concrete lining rings, which consist of five segments plus a key.
The TBMs have already been despatched from TERRATEC’s factory in China and are currently being shipped to the port of Mumbai. Both machines are expected to arrive in November and will be transported to Pune where they will be assembled and then tested on-site in mid-December.
Pune is an industrial city that has witnessed much growth in the areas of corporate and industrial infrastructure over the last decade. Existing roads in the city currently carry an average of 8,000 commuters an hour in each direction. The city experiences high traffic during peak hours that leads to long hours of traffic jams along with increased pollution.
The Pune Metro aims to provide a solution to the above issues by offering a safe and eco-friendly journey with a 50% reduction in travel time. When complete, in 2022, Pune’s Metro network will comprise three rail corridors with a total length of 54.5km.