February 19 - A significant heavy lift consignment could be available to the market when tunnel boring machine manufacturer Aker Wirth delivers on a multi-million Euro contract to supply a TBM (tunnel boring machine) to a strategic Swiss hydroelectric pro

116-year old Aker Wirth has been commissioned to construct and deliver a gripper TBM by a consortium constructing a power project at Linthal, Switzerland. Linthal is in the Canton of Glarus, south of Zurich.

The USD 27.5 million TBM will be used for the expansion of the Linth-Limmern power plant in Switzerland, boring approximately four kilometres from the access gallery to the new machine cavern. The journey from the workshop at Erkelenz, near Dusseldorf to Linthal is around 700km in length.

The borehole has a diameter of 8.03 m and rises from 800 m to approximately 1,800 m above sea level with a constant gradient of 24 per cent. The project will be the largest inclined shaft completed by TBM, with previous diameters of up to 6 m.

The TBM will be constructed at the Erkelenz plant. It will be subject to an in-plant test run before being transported and assembled at the site.

Like many capital goods companies in German, Aker Wirth is a significant exporter: 90 percent of its output at various global locations is shipped to foreign customers.