On December 23, 2017, a 13.02m diameter Herrenknecht Mixshield S-960 completed the final drive under the Suez Canal for a twin-tube road tunnel project at Ismailia.
For the new Suez crossings, Egyptian President H.E. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered four identical TBMs, S-958 – S-961 from Herrenknecht. Construction Joint Ventures; Arab Contractors/Orascom and Petrojet/Concord/CMC, have over the past 19 months used these giant tunnelling machines to produce the twin tunnels in four drives near the Egyptian cities of Ismailia and Port Said at depths of up to 60m and at water pressures of up to 6 bar. All in all, the Mixshields bored and built 15.3km of new tunnel during this time.
Herrenknecht AG trained 40 Egyptian engineers at its Headquarters in Schwanau, and also on the jobsites. Herrenknecht also provided the tunnelling teams with comprehensive services and key peripheral equipment through its subsidiaries VMT, MSD, Formwork, H+E and TMS.
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Egypt’s President H.E. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Dr.-Ing. E.h. Martin Herrenknecht, Chairman of the Board of Management of Herrenknecht AG, were personally present at the final TBM breakthrough. H.E. President al- Sisi emphasized that the project was crucial to Egypt’s future.
The tunnels will shorten the time for crossing the Suez Canal immensely: currently this can take up to five days, as queues of traffic to the ferry back up for miles. With the new tunnel connections, it will take just 10 minutes.