Water Flowing Through Niagara Tunnel

Niagara Tunnel Before

The record-breaking TBM – a 47.2-ft diameter rock TBM from Robbins named Big Becky – before the mammoth Niagara Tunnel bore.

Ontario’s new Niagara Tunnel is now in service to produce more clean, renewable electricity at the Sir Adam Beck generating complex. The tunnel was completed with the world’s largest hard-rock TBM, a 47.2-ft diameter machine built by The Robbins Company.

“Congratulations to our contractor, STRABAG, and the hundreds of men and women who worked with extremely difficult rock conditions to safely complete this engineering marvel,” said Tom Mitchell, OPG’s President and CEO. “This was a large, complex project that will serve Ontario for 100-plus years.”

“This project is a source of pride as an engineering feat and as a practical solution for meeting Ontario’s energy needs through clean sources,” said Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy. “The completion of this project will provide Ontario with a source of clean energy for the next 100 years.”

The project remains one of the best value renewable energy initiatives in Ontario. OPG and STRABAG agreed to a revised schedule in early 2009 due to difficult rock conditions, and have stayed true to both the schedule and budget. In fact, the project cost will be $100 million lower than the revised $1.6 billion cost, and the in-service date is nine months sooner than projected in 2009.

The record-breaking TBM – a 47.2-ft diameter rock TBM from Robbins named Big Becky – after the mammoth Niagara Tunnel bore.

Key Facts about the Tunnel:

— 12.7 m in diameter and 10.2 km long;

–Lined with enough concrete to build a sidewalk from Windsor to Quebec City;

–Capable of providing an additional 500 m3 per second of water to the Sir Adam Beck generating complex – enough to fill a large Olympic-sized swimming pool in a matter of a few seconds;

–The tunnel will annually produce more power, on average, than cities the size of Niagara Falls or Kingston use every year;

–580 workers were employed at peak construction; and

–Workers’ safety record was twice as good as the industry average.


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