Bouygues Construction uses world's two largest tunnel-boring machines on project in China
Bouygues Travaux Publics, a Bouygues Construction subsidiary, has started excavation of a twin-tube tunnel in China, using the world’s two largest tunnel-boring machines (TBMs), 15.43 metres in diameter (1). The contract worth a total of 185 million euros (74 million euros for Bouygues Travaux Publics) is being carried out under a joint venture with local contractor Stec (2).
Bouygues Travaux Publics is in charge of construction of the 8-km-long twin-tube tunnel (dual three-lane) beneath the Yangtze River Estuary to link Changxing Island to the Shanghai-Pudong area on the mainland. The two TBMs will work simultaneously, making it possible for Bouygues Travaux Publics to hand the tunnel over in readiness for the Shanghai Universal Exposition in June 2010. Not only does the tunnel set a world diameter record, it will also hold the Chinese record for the length of subsea tunnel. To be built for Shanghai Changjiang Tunnel and Bridge Construction and Development, it is just part of a huge motorway project linking the Shanghai-Pudong area to neighbouring Jiangsu Province.
As many as 400 people will work on the tunnel project at peak times.
This is Bouygues Travaux Publics’ first actual construction project on mainland China. Other subsidiaries have until now served as technical consultant for a number of projects, in particular Bouygues Bâtiment International for the Beijing Olympic stadium. Bouygues Travaux Publics was ranked “Grade 1”, and thus became the first French construction contractor to achieve this distinction in China. This ranking recognises that the firm has the requisite qualities as a Specialist Tunnelling Contractor and General Contractor for Public Works.
The Group has also had a strong presence in Hong Kong since 1987, working through its subsidiary Dragages Hong Kong which is currently building a hotel complex and recently handed over the AsiaWorld-Expo international exhibition centre. It is also involved in a number of countries in south-east Asia through local subsidiaries in Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.
(1) Larger than the TBM used to build Groene Hart Tunnel in the Netherlands (14.90 metres) which Bouygues Travaux Publics handed over at the end of 2005.
(2) A subsidiary of Shanghai Urban Construction Group, Stec specialises in the construction of tunnels of all sizes, and is currently working on around twenty different tunnels in China.