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Eight new Lovsuns EPBMs for Metro Istanbul 28 Sep 2017

TunnelTalk reporting

Chinese TBM manufacturer Lovsuns with a sales and service base in Toronto, Canada, continues an established relationship with the tunnelling industry in Turkey with confirmation of an order for eight new EPBMs for extension works on the Istanbul Metro.

Following on from two successful previous Metro projects, the orders for the new machines come from the Alarko-Cengiz and the Makyol/Ictas/Kalyon/Astor joint ventures for their contracts on the new Kaynarca-Pendik-Tuzla Line and the Kirazli-Halkali Line (Fig 1).

One of four TBMs for the Alarko-Cengiz JV
One of four TBMs for the Alarko-Cengiz JV

On the Asian side of Istanbul, the Kaynarca-Pendik-Tuzla Line comprises 19.78km of twin tube tunnels for the extension of Metro Line M4 and connection of the M4 Kaynarca Station with the Tuzla Station of the B2 Line. The Alarko-Cengiz JV will operate two TBMs for twin 3.2km long tunnels from the C cross section to Kaynarca Station and another two machines for twin drives of 3.3km from the C cross section to Tuzla Station. Two further twin TBM drives of 3.39km will run from the Pendik Station to the Hastane Station and an additional refurbished Lovsusns TBM is on reserve pending a confirmed order. The launch date for the TBMs is planned for February 2018.

Ground conditions for the majority of the drives is mixed geology with soft to hard and abrasive to very abrasive rock formations of quarzite, limestone, sandstone, mudstone, some abrasive quarzite, dykes and more. The EPBs will also operate through short sections of alluvium.

On the European side of Istanbul, the 13.2km long Kirazli-Halkali Line of twin running tunnels will connect Metro Line M3 (M1A) with Halkali Station and M1B with Kirazli Bagcilar Station, crossing the M9 Metro Line at Mimar Sinan Station (Fig 1). The Makyol/Ictas/Kalyon/Astor JV will drive two 2.7km TBM tunnels from the Mimar Sinan to Kirazli Bagcilar Station and another two TBMs on 3.9km long drives from the planned Fatih to the Yarimburgaz Station. Launch date of the TBMs is planned for April 2018.

Mixed ground conditions of generally soft rock, mudstone, sandstone, marn, alluvium and filled material are expected.

Fig 1. Metro network of Istanbul
Fig 1. Metro network of Istanbul

Both joint ventures have ordered their four TBMs each fitted with a mixed face cutterhead, a 1,200kW main drive power, high power installation and torque for the potential of high advance rates, and fitted with wear protection on the cuttinghead and in the screw conveyor which itself is design for high screw conveyor output.

These Luvsons orders represent a high demand for TBMs in Turkey. With more than 14 million residents in Istanbul for example, solutions for urban transportation are needed urgently and tunnels excavated with TBMs is the first choice for building new metro lines tunnels. The city’s Metro and urban transportation system today comprises more than 230km in operation and there is an additional 30km to 40km of metro tunnelling under construction. In 2017 alone there is a demand for more than 20 TBMs for metro extension works on the European and Asian side of the trans-continental city.

LOVSUNS, formerly Lovat and then Caterpillar and subsequently acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary of Liaoning Censcience Industry (LNSS) of China, had its first success in Turkey just one month after acquiring Caterpillar Tunnelling assets in November 2014 with the order for a 3.9m diameter EPBM for two wastewater tunnels in Istanbul. Further TBM orders for several drives of the new Metro Line extensions then followed and culminate today in confirmation of eight new TBMs for Metro works.

"We design and engineer tailor-made TBMs in Toronto and will complete full manufacture of the TBMs in the LNSS facilities in Liaoyang, China," explained Hongyu Xue, Managing Director of Lovsuns Tunneling Canada Ltd. “In that way we successfully unite the best practice, knowledge and technology of both companies for the highest advantage of our customers.”

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