June 7, 2024

Giant TBM Delivered for Major Yellow River Tunnel Project

Giant TBM Delivered for Major Yellow River Tunnel Project

Herrenknecht, a global leader in tunneling technology, has delivered one of its largest tunnel boring machines (TBM) for an ambitious project in China. This massive Mixshield TBM will play a crucial role in constructing a 3.3-kilometer two-storey road tunnel under the Yellow River in Jinan, a city in eastern China. The project aims to create a tunnel with three lanes in both directions, addressing the unique geological challenges of the region.

The Mixshield TBM, specifically designed for extreme tunneling conditions, is engineered to navigate the high groundwater pressure and complex geology beneath the Yellow River. With a colossal diameter of 17.5 meters, this TBM is among the largest ever built by Herrenknecht, and one of only three such large machines used in tunneling history. The previous record holder, also a Herrenknecht Mixshield, was deployed in Hong Kong in 2015, boasting a slightly larger diameter of 17.63 meters.

Addressing Unique Challenges

The Yellow River project presents a series of unique challenges, primarily due to the high groundwater pressure and the need to construct a single tunnel tube accommodating traffic in both directions. The immense size and advanced technology of the Mixshield TBM are essential for navigating these difficult conditions safely and efficiently.

To put the size of this TBM into perspective, the tunnel boring machines used for London’s Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) were around seven meters in diameter, while the largest TBMs for the UK's HS2 project are approximately 10 meters in diameter. The 17.5-meter diameter of the Mixshield TBM for the Yellow River project underscores the scale and complexity of this undertaking.

Importance of the Project

The construction of the Yellow River road tunnel is a significant infrastructure project for Jinan and the surrounding region. Once completed, it will improve transportation efficiency, reduce traffic congestion, and boost economic development. The tunnel will provide a critical link under the Yellow River, facilitating smoother and faster travel across this vital waterway.

Herrenknecht’s delivery of this jumbo TBM demonstrates the company's expertise and leadership in tunneling technology. Known for their innovation and reliability, Herrenknecht TBMs are used in some of the most challenging and high-profile tunneling projects worldwide. The success of this project will further cement their reputation as pioneers in the field.

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