15 German tunnel boring machines for Doha Metro

February 26, 2014 - 3:25:52 am

The Minister of Transport H E Jassim Seif Ahmed Al Sulaiti (centre) with other officials at the Herrenknecht plant in Schwanau.

DOHA: The German company Herrenknecht will soon deliver 15 high-tech tunnel boring machines (TBM) for the Doha Metro project.

A Qatari delegation, led by the Minister of Transport H E Jassim Seif Ahmed Al Sulaiti yesterday visited the Herrenknecht plant in Schwanau to have a closer look at the first TBM for the project. Former chancellor Gerhard Schrِoder was also present.

TBMs are important for the project as majority of work is done underground, said a senior Qatar Rail official.

The delegation of senior representatives of Qatar Rail, the joint venture QDVC/GS Engineering and Construction /Al Darwish Engineering and the Qatari consul inspected the first machine which is ready for use, a statement said yesterday.

The minister underscored the importance of the project  and said, “Qatar holds its hopes and aspirations for the future in accordance with Qatar National Vision 2030. One of the most important elements in fulfilling the vision is infrastructure. We have allocated tremendous resources and a generous budget to upgrade infrastructure, including Qatar Rail’s Doha Metro project.”

Engineer Abdulla Abdulaziz Turki Al Subaie, Managing Director, Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), said,  “Qatar Rail has placed full faith in Herrenknecht’s abilities to deliver exceptional quality products with attention to detail; that’s why it has been selected to supply TBMs.”

Engineer Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi, CEO, Qatar Rail said, “TBMs are important for the Doha Metro project as there is minimal interference in the day-to-day life of people working and living in the city as a vast majority of work is done underground with only one point of entry. 

“The environmental impact is also minimal, with almost no pollutants released into the air or groundwater. A decision will be made soon to determine the best TBM for Qatar’s geological makeup; however, the Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) and Slurry Shield types are most suitable.”

Martin Herrenknecht, Founder and Chairman of the board of Herrenknecht AG, thanked the Minister, client representatives and contractors for confidence in German technology.

“With our high-tech TMBs and reliability we will contribute everything possible to ensuring Doha gets a metro tunnel system to the highest global standards.”

The Lehwaila and Al Wakra EPB shield with a diametre of 7,050mm and a cutting head drive of 1120kW were ordered by QDVC/GS Engineering/Al Darwish. The joint venture is responsible for the construction of the metro section Red Line South. The Red Line will handle the bulk of the national transport and connect the most important stadiums of the World Cup in 2022. As a central line it will also connect the city with the airport and the West Bay Central.

For expansion of the first section of the Doha Metro, Herrenknecht will supply 15 EPB shield TBMs. By 2019, they are to drive about 90km  of tunnel through the limestone foundation of Doha for the Red Line South, Red Line North and the Green Line. There are plans to complete a second section by 2026. Then the Doha Metro with 93 stations, four lines and over 354km  length will connect residential and business centres of the capital with each other and the suburbs. The Peninsula

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