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Grand Paris Express – Final TBM of Line 18 is ready for launch

Grand Paris Express - Final TBM of Line 18 is ready for launch

As the 30th TBM for the new 200km metro project in the French capital until now, and the third on Line 18, TBM Awa that is the last TBM to construct Line 18 of the Grand Paris Express will be commissioned soon.

The launching station of this machine is due to be the future Guyancourt station in western Paris and it will start its journey this summer, while completing a 6.7km tunnel, breaking through near the Versailles-Chantiers station at the end of 2026.

Building the 5.9km tunnel between Palaiseau and Massy on the eastern section of Line 18,this variable density TBM has a 9m diameter and weighs 122 tonnes, and comprises reused components from TBM Céline. The launching date of TBM Céline was 2021 and completed digging process in 2023.

TBM Awa is named after Awa Camara, president of the Guyancourt association, Second Breath, which supports parents of children with disabilities.

In order to ensuring that the electricity required during construction work will be entirely from renewable sources, the Ferrovial-Spie Batignolles consortium building Line 18 has reached an agreement with energy supplier EDF.

While providing the supply of 25 GWh, equivalent to the power used by a city of 85,000 people in three months is a content of this agreement , of the total, 13.5 GWh will be used to drive the TBM and the rest to operate the ancillary equipment required for construction. The deal will avoid the emission of 7,396 tons of CO2.

Additionally, the excavated material, mainly sand, is slated to be used in other phases of the project.

According to Ferrovial Construction CEO Ignacio Gastón: “Ferrovial’s Construction division has made a firm commitment that, by 2025, all projects where we have decision-making capacity will use 100% renewable energy. We are also working to replicate this commitment to sustainability in projects with partners, in order to involve the entire value chain.”

On April 2022, the €428m Line 18 contract was granted to Ferrovial-Spie Batignolles, whereas this Line links Orly Airport to Versailles-Chantiers and the works comprise construction of the 6.7km tunnel, three stations – Guyancourt, Satory, and Versailles-Chantiers – and eight ancillary structures.

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