A pair of EPBMs are accepted by the client and its tunnelling contractor, the Acciona/Odebrecht JV, ahead of transportation to Ecuador in South America for excavation of the 20km-long Line 1 of the new Quito Metro.
The 9.32m diameter machines, manufactured by Herrenknecht at its facilities in Schwanau, Germany, will now be transported to the jobsite where, at 2,800m above sea level in the Ecuadorian Andes, they will excavate one of the highest-altitude metro systems in the world. Each machine features a drive power of 2,750kW and a nominal torque of 21,035kNm.
Construction is underway on two of the 15 stations on the new line. The two EPBMs will complete parallel drives of 8,180m and 9,053m at an average depth of 20m to 25m, for a total mechanised tunnelling distance of more than 17km through a mixed geology comprising silts, clay and volcanic tuff.
The new metro system is an important step in the modernisation of the Ecuadorian capital city and, once completed, will transport more than 350,000 passengers each day. Currently, high volumes of traffic cause regular congestion and smog in the city. The switch to a more environmentally friendly underground transportation system is designed to remedy this situation and save up to 30,000 tonne of CO2 emissions a year.
The Acciona/Odebrecht JV was awarded the US$1.54 billion Quito Metro excavation contract in November 2015 and TBM excavation is scheduled to start in spring next year (2017). A construction period of 36 months for the running tunnels and for the 13 additional stations along the alignment is envisaged, with a further six months for systems integration and commissioning.
The Acciona/Odebrecht joint venture is awarded US$1.54 billion construction of the second phase of Line 1 of Quito’s first subway system, in Ecuador.
The contract, awarded by Quito City Council, includes TBM excavation of a 22,072m-long tunnel, 13 new stations, carriage sheds and workshops, and the railway facilities required for commissioning. Acciona/Ghella submitted the lowest bid out of a total of four received. TBMs in the 9.5m diameter size range are specified, for excavation of a two-track single tube system.
The other competitors for the contract were joint venture teams of Ansaldo/Impregilo/Herdoiza; OHL/ICA; and Dragados/OAS/Hyunday.
The new metro line comprises the first component of a new public transport system for Quito. Acciona has already completed under a separate contract the civil works for the Phase I construction of stations at La Magdalena and El Labrador.
The new metro line will run from the Quitumbe bus terminal in the south of the city to El Labrador station in the north, on the site of an old airport. Construction is scheduled to take 36 months, with a further six months for systems integration and commissioning. Stations along the line will be located at Quitumbe, Morán Valverde, Solanda, El Calzado, El Recreo, La Magdalena, San Francisco, La Alameda, El Ejido, Universidad Central, La Pradera, La Carolina, Iñaquito, Jipijapa and El Labrador.
The project has stalled since the original construction contract was awarded in July 2014. Quito has managed to get the project back on track by negotiating a lower price from Acciona/Odebrecht, and securing national government agreement to provide a sovereign debt guarantee for a Quito City Council debt issue. Requests for direct financing from central government funds were refused. Other funding for the project, which is expected to cost a total of US$ 2billion, is coming from the Latin Development Bank, CAF, IDB, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank.