World’s Strongest Tower Crane Erected
In order to lift the components of the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) down into Unit 1’s Heat Sink, the world’s strongest tower crane in its class has been erected on Site. Standing 72m high, with a 73m main boom, the crane can lift 330 tonnes and is hard to miss on the skyline.
The team has been working hard in partnership with contractors Osprey to reach the milestone. At the end of 2018, they saw the arrival of the first machine at Combwich Wharf and, since then, Balfour Beatty has made great progress making sure that the adit, which is where the TBM will be launched, is ready. Three TBM components, including the cutter head, will form the 15m front section of the TBM. They will be welded together and put in a cradle – a structure similar to train tracks. From March through to July, the rest of the adit will be bored and the full 150m length of the TBM will be constructed.
Peter Ross, Programme Manager, said: “We’re really pleased to be moving ahead with this integral part of the HPC build, in line with our schedule. The first machine will be working hard over the next year to reach 3.5km out in to the Bristol Channel, removing up to 100,000m³ of earth by itself.”
Tunnel On Track
In addition to the great progress on the launch adit for the TBM’s and the world’s strongest capacity tower crane in its class, Balfour Beatty is making good progress at Avonmouth. The factory is continuing to churn out the segments that will line the tunnels under the Bristol Channel. At the same time at Avonmouth, work is also pushing on with construction of the steel reinforcements for the heads that will cap the tunnel shafts. The four largest heads, which weigh nearly 5,000 tonnes each, will be built using some of the most complex steel reinforcement ever used by Balfour Beatty.
Taken from The Point March 2019