ACCIONA Ghella Joint Venture (AGJV) has been nominated for the Follo Line project at the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2019 in the Major Project of the Year category (those with a budget above €500 million).
This fifth edition of the ITA Tunnelling Awards, organised by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, will take place on 18 November in Miami (USA), coinciding with the eighth edition of the Annual Cutting Edge Conference, organised by the Underground Construction Association (UCA) of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) and The Tunnelling Journal.
This major annual event celebrates the best tunnelling projects in different categories, which have been recognised as the most outstanding projects of the year around the world, both in terms of their technical excellence and for their practices related to aspects such as innovation, safety and sustainability.
The Follo Line project has been nominated for the most prestigious and prominent prize, Major Project of the Year, presented to projects with a budget over €500 million.The project consists of twin high-speed railway tunnels constructed between the city of Oslo and the town of Ski in Norway.Once completed, they will be the longest railway tunnels in Scandinavia with a length of 19.5 km.
To drill the tunnels, AGJV used a pioneering method in the country consisting of four double-shield tunnel boring machines (TBM) that started from a single point in the Norwegian town of Asland, which simultaneously drilled more than 36 km in less than two years, finishing ahead of schedule.Two of these tunnel boring machines drilled south towards the town of Ski, while the other two drilled north towards Oslo.
Excavation of the tunnels was completed on 26 February, after overcoming some major challenges such as the extreme hardness of the rock and the weakness of the ground in other areas.The material excavated by the TBMs was extracted from the tunnel on underground conveyor belts.As the TBM cutting heads excavated the tunnels, the rear sections of these machines installed the segmented lining rings, which were manufactured by reusing part of the nine million tonnes of rock that was excavated, contributing to the project’s sustainability.
The ACCIONA Ghella JV project, which to date is the largest project carried out with tunnel boring machines in Norway, will compete against three other projects from South Korea, China and Hong Kong that have been nominated in the same category of the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2019.
“The Follo Line is a unique project and undoubtedly deserves this recognition!We will do everything possible to win in Miami!”said Fernando Vara, former project manager and the current Business Development Director of ACCIONA’s specialist railways and tunnels business unit.