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TERRATEC TBMs Get Up to Speed on Chennai Metro

In December, TERRATEC celebrated the assembly of the third of five ordered 6.61m diameter Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines (EPBMs) for the Chennai Metro Rail project in India. The contractor, Tata Projects Ltd., is using these machines for its underground works contracts on Chennai Metro Rail Phase-II Corridors India. TERRATEC is supplying five out of the seven TBMs required for the package.

The TBMs are used on Chennai Metro Rail tunneling contract for Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) to build Phase 2 – Corridor 3, Package- TU01 from Venugopal Nagar Station to Kellys Station. The work involves the construction of 9 km of twin tunnels for a total of 18 km.

Being the leading TBM supplier for Chennai Metro Rail Project, TERRATEC started dispatching the TBMs in 2022. In October 2022, TBM S96 was the first launched TBM of all the machines and along with TBM S97, both machines started its excavation towards Madhavaran High Road. TBM S98 had also started excavating from the same shaft – Madhavaran Colony moving towards Venugopal Nagar (of Line-5) to Kellys Station. TBM S99 on-site assembly is currently underway.

Meanwhile, the fifth machine (S81B) has passed the factory acceptance test (FAT) in Pune for Package TU01 of the 118.9 km Chennai Metro Phase 2 project. The TBM was refabricated as per the ITA guidelines which is introduced for the first time in India. Back in 2021-2022, this Ø6.61m earth pressure balance (EPB) machine had been used to build a 2,144 m tunnel between Swargate and Budhwar Peth stations for Pune Metro Phase 1 project’s 16.589 km Purple Line.

The Chennai Metro project Phase 2 – Corridor 3, Package – TU01 includes the construction of diaphragm walls and entry and exit structures of Madhavaram Milk Colony Station, Murari Hospital Station, Ayanavaram Station and Purasaiwakkam High Road Station, including the launching and retrieval shafts at the above stations. Major challenges of the project include tunneling beneath historic structures in built-up areas.

TERRATEC TBMs have versatile mixed-ground dome-style cutterheads that have proven to work extremely effectively in mixed geology – which includes mainly sand, silt, clay on the tunnel drives with occasional weathered rock. 1,400mm wide by 275mm thick universal reinforced concrete lining rings are installed as the TBMs progress which consist of five segments plus a key.

Machine operation is assisted at all times by TERRATEC’s highly-experienced Field Service staff, providing quality after-sales support to ensure optimum performance and successful project completion.

The population of Chennai has been growing rapidly and the traffic volumes on the roads have also been increasing enormously. This has laid severe stress on the urban transport system in Chennai. The metropolis now has the new and modern way of commuting. Therefore, the government of Tamil Nadu has decided to implement the Chennai Metro Rail Project. This project will offer the people of Chennai with a fast, reliable, convenient, and economical way of public transport. The project is on a tight schedule and is anticipated to be completed in about four years.

TERRATEC’s continuing success on projects such as Phase III of the Delhi Metro, Lucknow Metro, Ahmadabad Metro, Kanpur Metro, Surat Metro, Pune Metro and Mumbai Metro is a result of tailor-made robust TBM design, prompt onsite assistance, readily available stock of TBM spares and highly-skilled specialized TBM support throughout tunnelling operations.

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