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Herrenknecht wins two awards for microtunneling projects

BERLIN/GERMANY, April 21, 2015 – Two sewage projects in Saudi Arabia and Germany were awarded by the German Society for Trenchless Technology (GSTT). Herrenknecht received the special award "International Project" and the GSTT Award “Gold”.

Mecca’s new sewage system

The National Water Company of Saudi Arabia, the owner of the "Makkah Haram Sewer Line" project, was honored with the GSTT Award in the special category "International Project". Directly under Mecca, the most important place of pilgrimage for Muslims, two Herrenknecht EPB Shields (Ø 3,510 mm) are driving much needed sewers with segmental lining. Tight curve radii of 80 meters are being driven over distances of 1.5 and 1.8 kilometers. For the particularly secure removal of sewage through holy groundwater, concrete segments with two sealing profiles and an HDPE (High-density polyethylene) inliner provide additional protection.

The Saudi Arabia delegation in Berlin at the GSTT awards ceremony

Award for the "Makkah Haram Sewer Line" project on March 24 in Berlin (left to right): The GSTT Chairman Prof. Jens Hölterhoff presents the GSTT special award "International Project" to Eng. Abdullah Ahmed Hasanin, (MTCBU Director of the National Water Company NWV) and Eng. Ibrahim Balaban (General Manager of the Tunnelling Division in the Saudi Binladin Group Saudi Arabia) and Peter Schmäh (Member of the Traffic Tunnelling Executive Board at Herrenknecht). | photo: Herrenknecht

Remote-control in Germany

Herrenknecht produced the tunnel boring machines for this project and put together a tailor-made service package: Because only Muslims are allowed to enter the city of Mecca, a special remote monitoring system customized for the project was developed together with the contracting construction company Saudi Binladin Group.
Machine operators from Herrenknecht can support the advance around the clock. Therefore the tunnel boring machine's control cabin was duplicated and its data transmitted from the jobsite in Mecca directly to the offices in Schwanau, Germany. Prior to tunneling, the customer's site crew was trained on the machines set up in the curve radius at the Herrenknecht plant in Schwanau. "We have to work under time pressure in tight curve radii under Mecca’s busiest ring road and through holy groundwater. For this unique challenge we needed a unique solution. Herrenknecht gave us a complete package - including 24/7 support” says Eng. Ibrahim Balaban, General Manager of the Tunnelling Division in the Saudi Binladin Group Saudi Arabia.

A Herrenknecht operator in Schwanau checks the tuennling progress in Mecca

For the "Makkah Haram Sewer Line" project Herrenknecht supplied two tunnel boring machines (EPB machines Ø 3,510 mm) and a unique service package: the tunnel boring machine's entire control cabin was duplicated and its data transmitted from the jobsite in Mecca directly to the offices in Schwanau. This means machine operators from Herrenknecht can support the advance around the clock. | photo: Herrenknecht

GSTT Award Gold for German Project

The second prize was awarded to the Emschergenossenschaft Water Management Society. As the project owner of the “Emscher renaturation” in Germany, it was honored for the planning and construction of a 35 kilometer long section of sewage network between Dortmund and Bottrop. The construction company Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG is driving more than 25 kilometers of the sewer sections with an EPB Shield and five AVN machines from Herrenknecht. At this large-scale project, the renaturation of the Emscher, a variety of tunnelling machines from Herrenknecht have been in use for about 20 years. At the construction sections 20 and 40, the construction company PORR GmbH is excavating about 23 kilometers of sewage tunnels with three EPB shields.

Ulrich Schaffhauser, Deputy Member of the Board of Management and Director Utility Tunnelling at Herrenknecht, congratulated the winners. "We congratulate our customers on the honoring of their unique construction projects with this year's GSTT Award. We are delighted to provide Herrenknecht know-how to support these important trenchless microtunnelling projects that make a contribution to improving the quality of life and conserving natural resources."

The German Society for Trenchless Technology (GSTT) confers winner awards in “Gold”, “Silver” and Bronze for current trenchless construction projects. An extraordinary and spectacular international project receives a special "International" award. The award ceremony took place at the "Wasser Berlin International" exhibition.

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Herrenknecht AVN machine M-1728 at Dortmund

The Herrenknecht AVN machine M-1728 being lifted into a launch shaft. The construction phase between Dortmund und Bottrop is a section of the large-scale Emscher renaturation project and was honored with the GSTT Award in "Gold". The construction company Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG is driving more than 25 kilometers of sewers there with an EPB Shield and five AVN machines from Herrenknecht. | photo: Herrenknecht