Vancouver confirms Caterpillar as TBM supplier 29 May 2013
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- Following a series of "detailed" meetings the consortium selected to design, build and finance the new Evergreen Line in Vancouver, Canada, confirms Caterpillar as manufacturer of the TBM that will excavate the 2km tunnel section.
Millennium Line alignment
- EGRT Construction, a consortium led by Canadian contractor SNC-Lavalin with Seli as its tunnelling partner, won the Can$889 million construction contract in January (2013). Since the purchase order was placed for the machine, Caterpillar made the shock announcement earlier this month (May) that it will not be taking new machine orders and will be withdrawing from the TBM manufacturing market by 2016 and closing its factory and workshops.
- "The manufacturer was chosen because they were the best suited to the needs of the Evergreen Line Project and Caterpillar was able to meet our financial and scheduling requirements," EGRT Communications Manager Jodi Rogers told TunnelTalk from Canada.
- "We have had detailed meetings with Caterpillar since the announcement that they are to cease their TBM manufacturing operations, and have received satisfactory assurances on the delivery dates. We are also comfortable that they will continue to support our machine through the construction period."
- "The purchase order was placed in January 2013 and delivery of the machine on site is scheduled for late 2013. Initial TBM boring is scheduled to begin in early 2014 and excavation will take approximately 12 months to complete," said Rogers.
- The 11km Evergreen Line LRT project, which upon completion will fully integrate into the existing Skytrain system, will connect Coquitlam city centre to Vancouver via a connection with the Millennium Line at Lougheed. The project comprises elevated and at-grade guideways, a 2km bored tunnel, seven stations, power substations and train operating systems.
Vancouver area transit network
- Caterpillar will supply a 9.84m diameter mixed face EPBM, plus back up, for excavation of the single-bore tunnel section. Specification calls for ability to withstand pressure up to 5 bar.
- The project has been in the making for more than a decade. The tunnel section was originally considered at concept planning stage as a twin-running structure requiring use of two EPBs, but EGRT was able to demonstrate significant savings at the bidding stage by suggesting a single bore alignment. Two risk options were offered at bid stage: one in which the geotechnical risks of tunnel construction were shared between contractor and the Client (Canadian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure), and another where the contractor assumed all risk for differing site conditions.
- Under the terms of the three-and-a-half year fixed price DBF contract, EGRT assumes all tunnel-related geotechnical risk and agrees to penalty causes for delays to the summer 2016 project delivery date. During construction EGRT will receive partial progress payments to the value of Can$582 million from the Client, to reflect work completed, and agrees to finance through private instruments the Can$307 million that will be needed to complete the final phases of construction. Approximately Can$256 million of this will be reimbursed at "substantial completion" of the project, followed by a further Can$40 million after a year of satisfactory operation of the line. A further Can$9 million is withheld as security for general warranties.
Caterpillar explains TBM closedown decision - TunnelTalk, May 2013
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