In mid-May 2018, breakthrough was celebrated on China’s 24km long Jilin Lot 3 – five months ahead of schedule. Contractor Beijing Vibroflotation Engineering Co. Ltd. (BVEC) used a record-setting 7.9m diameter Robbins Main Beam TBM which traversed 24 faults on it monumental journey.
“I have participated in this project from the beginning. The project broke through 147 days earlier than scheduled. The project has achieved the fastest monthly advance rate record – 1423.5m for 7 – 8m diameter TBMs in China. And the machine has reached over 1000m per month for three consecutive months. I am so proud of these achievements,” said Mr. Wu Zhi Yong, Vice Chief Engineer and Jilin Yinsong Project Vice General Manager for BVEC.
The completion of the 24.3km long tunnel ahead of schedule is a monumental achievement considering the difficult ground conditions encountered. Rock types ranged from tuff to granite, sandstone, and andesite with multiple fault zones—conditions requiring nearly continuous ground support. Rock strengths varied widely from 35 to 206MPa UCS.
The TBM bored through a total of 24 fault zones utilizing a unique combination of steel McNally slats (extruded through pockets in the TBM roof shield to prevent movement of loose rock), wire mesh, and shotcrete. The TBM was specifically designed to tackle the tough conditions. “Under the variable ground conditions, especially weak, soft, and fractured rock, the optimized system and reasonable design of the machine ensured effective tunneling progress. Robbins’ unique gripper system, continuous propel system, hydraulic drives, roof support and stable cutterhead reduced the wear of cutters. The efficient belt conveyor inside the main beam allowed quick muck removal from the cutterhead to the back of the machine, which ensured the good progress of the TBM,” said Mr. Wu.
The JilinLot 3tunnel is part of the Jilin Yinsong Water Supply Project, which at 736.3km is China’s largest scale water diversion project to date. Once operational the water lines will divert the water from Fengman Reservoir at the upper reaches of Di’er Songhua River to central regions of Jilin Province experiencing chronic water shortages.These regions include the cities of Changchun and Siping, eight surrounding counties, and 26 villages and towns under their jurisdiction. The project will optimize water resource distribution, improve regional eco-systems, and ensure better food production and water safety for the people of Jilin Province.