The machine, which will help dig the shaft for the main tunnel at Tideway’s Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey, will run off mains electricity instead of diesel.
Martin Stanley, Geotechnical Construction Manager at Tideway, said: “As well as being more environmentally friendly, it also means the machine will be quieter when it’s in use. This type of hydrofraise machine is thought to be one of the first of its kind in the world, so we are really proud we’ve been able to launch it and will continue to look at ways of reducing our carbon footprint and minimizing any disruption to our neighbors.”
The machine, which started digging at the end of August, has been developed by the team building the east section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel – a joint venture of Costain, VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche.
Soletanche Bachy Group owns and operates the hydrofraise, which was developed with input from a number of specialist industry partners.
It will be used to dig shafts at Chambers Wharf, Deptford Church Street and King Edward Memorial Park in Tower Hamlets. Afterwards it will return to the Soletanche Bachy Group for projects elsewhere around the world.