On 06/12/2021, Webuild and its partners in the Future Generation joint-venture as well as Australia’s Prime Minister and Snowy Hydro Ltd, attended in ceremony for commencing the Kirsten TBM’s operation. This TBM is the most technologically progressed among the three other tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) allocated for the development of the Snowy 2.0 pumped-storage scheme, the largest renewable energy project in Australia.
The intended TBM, which’s name is in honor of Australian astrophysicist Kirsten Bank, has been manufactured specifically for Snowy 2.0 by Germany’s Herrenknecht AG in collaboration with Webuild and emphasizes on the innovation that Webuild brings to every project.
While TBM Kirsten is a single-shield, open-mode machine, and its design provides dealing with hard rock conditions, the most innovative feature is its ability to dig at steep angles: up to 9% (five degrees) on declines and up to 47% (25 degrees) on inclines.
Daily excavation performance of this TBM with approximately 11 meters diameter and 205 meters length, is up to 30 meters of rock. The boring process of the Emergency, Cable and Ventilation Tunnel, Inclined Pressure Shaft, and 2km of the Headrace tunnel (more than 6 kilometers of tunneling) will be up to this TBM.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor and Paul Broad, Chief Executive of Snowy Hydro, attended the commissioning ceremony at Lobs Hole where the TBM begins its journey. Marco Assorati, Webuild Executive Director Asia Pacific, also participated.
Considering the background of Webuild’s expertise in the sector of tunnel works led it and its consortium partners to win recently a tunneling and highway contract on the North East Link in Melbourne. As the largest private-public partnership for an infrastructure project in Australia, it is going to provide a necessary connection in the city’s freeway network, decreasing congestion and travel times for motorists.
Built by Future Generation – a joint venture between Webuild, Australian partner Clough and Lane Construction, a U.S. subsidiary of Webuild – Snowy 2.0 will link the existing Talbingo Reservoir with Tantangara Reservoir through a network of tunnels.