At 8 o'clock on May 5, 2020, a CRCHI mega-sized EPB shield machine “Victory” with an excavation diameter of 10.88 m, made its first cut in Maple Avenue for the eastern section of the Moscow Third Interchange Circuit. China’s first mega-sized TBM used in Europe enters into its excavation phase.
The project mainly includes two tunnel sections measuring 2.947 kilometers in total length: one is from Maple Ave. Station to No.2 working shaft, the other is from Maple Ave. Station to Nagatinsky Station, with the contract amount up to 5.6415 billion Rubles. It is the first time for a Chinese enterprise to construct a large-sized metro tunnel in a foreign country and this CRCHI EPB is the largest tunnel boring machine ever exported from China to Europe.
Located at the riverside of the Moscow River, the tunnel project passes under heavy traffic and dense buildings. The tunnel construction will face many difficulties that require turning in a minimum 400-m radius and digging in a longitudinal gradient of 40‰. The shallow buried depth of the tunnel and long distance excavation also add to construction difficulty. The CRCHI EPB will bore a 600-m distance under the Moscow River, the nearest distance between the machine’s top to the river’s bottom being 12 m.
To solve the problems, this EPB was designed with high efficiency and high suitability to deal with complicated geologies and underwater boring and to have a 300-m turning radius capacity. To overcome the extremely cold climate in the winter of Moscow, the EPB was designed to have cold-proof performance to enable the machine to normally drive especially under -30℃.
In 2017, CRCHI also delivered Five EPBs, measuring 6.28 m in diameter, to Moscow for local metro tunnel construction. In Russia’s metro construction, the machine achieved a national record of 35 m in one day under the extremely cold climate. Due to excellent performance made by these five CRCHI EPBs, the project owner reordered this mega-sized EPB from CRCHI.