JIMT/TERRATEC EPBMs gear up for Taiwan’s Taoyuan MRT Green Line

On behalf of JIM Technology (JIMT), TERRATEC announced the delivery of the last two of four 8.38-m diameter Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines (EPBMs) that will be used by FUTSU-OBAYASHI-CEC Joint Venture (FOC JV) for its underground works contract on Taoyuan MRT Green Line Contract GC03, in Taoyuan city of Taiwan for the Department of Rapid Transit Systems, Taoyuan.

FOC JV has purchased a total of four EPBMs from JIMT for Contract GC03. The first two 6.24-m diameter EPBMs completed their Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs) in 2021. The remaining two 8.38-m diameter EPBMs have just passed their Factory Acceptance Tests.

JIMT and TERRATEC are the sole provider of all seven new TBMs for the project. In 2021, a 6.24-m diameter EPBM was delivered to BES-DAIHO-OKUMURA JV for its underground works contract on Taoyuan MRT Green Line Contract GC02. Two other 6.24-m diameter EPBMs were produced in JIMT facilities in Japan and had passed the FATs as well. A total of three 6.24-m diameter EPBMs had been delivered for Contract GC02.

Since 2018, TERRATEC is a member of JIMT Group, which is the company created by three Japanese industrial giants – IHI Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JFE Engineering Corp. – to merge their TBM divisions, thus combining their technology and experience of over 4,000 TBMs delivered since 1939 of every type and size up to 16 m in diameter, for both Japan and overseas projects.

Out of seven TBMs, five of them were produced in TERRATEC’s factory, with key components coming from Japan. The performance and quality have been evaluated as equal as made in Japan by Obayashi Corp., a Japanese contractor. In addition, the TERRATEC factory complies with the requirements of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy that Japanese technologies and/or equipment are substantially utilized.

Taoyuan MRT Green Line is a rapid transit line of the Taoyuan Metro which consists of six lines. The MRT Green Line has a total of 21 stations (10 underground stations and 11 stereoscopic stations), with a total length of 27.8 km. Contract GC03 includes four underground stations with two drives of 2.6 km of up-and-down tunnels. The main drive is planned from the launch shaft and both TBMs will excavate from Daxing West Road Intersection Station (G10) to Taoyuan Main Station (G07) through Minguang Road Station (G09) and Yong’he Market Station (G08). Tunneling work will start in the second half of 2023.

The two versatile 8.38-m EPBMs have robust spoke type with outer ring cutterheads designed to work effectively in the geology that includes sandstone and boulders that is expected on this contract. It is designed to smoothly discharge large boulders through the ribbon-type screw conveyor.

Other features include VFD electric cutterhead drives, disc roller cutters and reinforced cutting tools for gravel, high-torque screw conveyors, active articulation systems and state-of-the-art guidance and control systems. As the TBMs progress, they will install 1,200-mm wide by 350-mm thick reinforced concrete lining rings, which consist of six segments plus a key. Muck cars will be used.

Taoyuan MRT Green Line is anticipated to complete in 2026. Taoyuan City government plans to connect the Taoyuan Airport Line, the MRT Green Line, the Green Line to Zhongli, the MRT Brown Line, the Sanying Extension Line to extend the Bade section, and the underground Taoyuan Railway to form a ring-shaped track system. Through connecting the six lines, the City MRT system will provide a mass, fast and convenient travel service for the overall urban redevelopment.

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