China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co., Ltd. (CREG) revealed CREC 1193 and CREC 1237 tunnel boring machines in Zhengzhou, China, and praised them as the world’s first green TBMs.
With a diameter of 9.16 m, length of 135 m and weight of nearly 1,900 t, the machines will be utilized on the Fiumefreddo-Giampilieri section high-speed railway project, part of the Palermo-Catania-Messina high-capacity railway in Sicily, Italy.
The project concerns the construction of twin-tube single-track railway tunnels with a total length of 42 km, which contains 6 TBM-driven subsections with a max length of almost 9.1 km. The buried depth of strata ranges from 10 to 300 m, the minimum curve radius is 300 m, and the geology along the alignment is formed particularly of marlstone, metamorphic clastic rock, limestone, dolomite, phyllite, gravel and silt with the UCS of 15 to 60 MPa.
CREG customized three EPB-open mode dual-mode tunnel boring machines for the tunnelling works of the project, which involves green concepts to TBM design and construction and features intelligent control and low-carbon environmental protection.
With reference to intelligent control, to achieve the best match between tunnelling efficiency and energy consumption independently, the machines can adjust and manage tunnelling parameters automatically and intelligently according to different excavated strata during the advancement.
Concerning low-carbon environmental protection, the tunnel boring machines adopt energy-saving manufacturing technology and advanced dust removal technology to lessen dust, noise and carbon emissions, which assists with conserving energy and cutting emissions.
CREC 1193, one of the first two tunnel boring machines, is anticipated to reach Italy in August, and the third machine, CREC 1194, will roll off the production line in a few months.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) has granted the project’s construction contract to Webuild–Pizzarotti Joint Venture.
When completed, the Palermo-Catania-Messina high-capacity railway will link the three main cities of Messina, Catania and Palermo and make transportation more convenient in Sicily.