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Implenia to Construct District Heating Tunnel Below the Elbe

Implenia building district heating tunnel under the Elbe

Implenia has been requested by project owner Wärme Hamburg to construct a tunnel below the River Elbe for Hamburg’s new district heating network. The project is worth about CHF 75 million (EUR 72 million), and Implenia is responsible for the detailed design and basic construction of the tunnel and the district heating pipe, plus for planning and installing the needed operating technology. Implenia has been operating on the design since October 2021 (Phase 1). It has now been given the contract for the further planning and construction, commencing at the beginning of 2022 (Phase 2).

District heating generation in Hamburg is set to change fundamentally over the next few years. Central power plants north of the Elbe are being decommissioned and replaced by an efficient and decentralized district heating network. Climate-neutral waste heat is being adopted from various sources, comprising a waste recycling plant, the wastewater heat pump of a sewage treatment plant, and other energy-intensive industrial operations south of the Elbe. The heat is going to be combined in a storage circuit and brought to the needed temperature. A new Elbe tunnel is required to reach consumers north of the River Elbe. This will be drilled nearly two kilometers west of the Elbe Tunnel on the A7 motorway, from Köhlfleethafen near Finkenwerder to the Elbchaussee on the north bank.

Implenia’s Special Foundations department is building diaphragm walls up to 42 meters deep for the start and end shafts. A TBM will bore a 1.16-kilometer-long tunnel between the two shafts with a diameter of about 4.5 meters, and lined with precast concrete sections. Access and operating equipment will be constructed into the two shafts for future use. The contract also comprises the installation of the technical building equipment and the district heating pipe with supply and return flow.

he Head Tunnelling at Implenia, Erwin Scherer, is excited about the project acquisition: “We are very pleased to be handling this large and complex infrastructure project for our customer Wärme Hamburg. The fact that we are helping improve the sustainability of heat generation in the city is an additional motivation for us because sustainability is one of Implenia’s corporate values – and one we can fulfill in this project.”

The work is anticipated to be finished in the first quarter of 2025.

For further details, please visit Implenia’s website.

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