A consortium led by SK E&C, a world-level construction company in Korea, began digging the Eurasia Undersea Tunnel in Turkey as the first project of building an undersea tunnel linking Asia and Europe. The company held the ceremony of boring the duplex-type undersea tunnel that passes through the Bosporous Strait on the coast of Istanbul in length of 5.4 kilometers. The ceremony was held on May 19 at the site in Istanbul attended by a number of government officials of Turkey, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and executives of SK E&C.
Using super large tunnel boring machine (TBM) with 13.7 meters in diameter, 120 meters in length and 3,300 tons of weight, SK E&C will bore the undersea tunnel in length of 3.34 kilometers out of total projected tunnel length of 5.4 kilometers, digging 7 meters a day on average for about 480 days. The TBM method is a way of building undersea tunnels by crushing and cutting bedrocks with powered cutter heads and then installing concrete structures called segment inside the tunnel simultaneously. As a state project of Turkey, the Turkish government will invest a total of US$1.24 billion in it, and SK E&C will construct the tunnel on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. When the undersea tunnel is open to traffic in 2017, about 120,000 vehicles are expected to use it a day, and the time to cross the Bosporous Strait is expected to be sharply shortened from current 100 minutes to 15 minutes.
Executive Director Lee Jin-mu for the Eurasia Undersea Tunnel Project at SK E&C stated, “As it is an extremely sensitive job that uses super large TBM, we should be always alert in carrying out the project. Given that it is the first undersea tunnel that connects between the East and the West, we will safely complete the construction work as planned, preventing any accident.”
Since its establishment in 1977, SK E&C has grown as a leading comprehensive construction company based on top-notch technical expertise and outstanding management capabilities in various areas including infrastructure, housing, chemical plants, eco-friendly incinerators and nuclear power plants. With world-class technologies in these areas, the company has introduced advanced measurement systems in all areas of civil engineering, such as SOC projects, high-speed railroad and subway construction, mixed-use complexes, reclamation and port construction. It also has key design capabilities based on its experience in constructing underground caverns for storing petroleum, foods and compressed air energy. Having entered into a technology licensing agreement with France’s Geostock and SN Techigaz, it is actively participating in the world’s first underground LNG storage cavern project in Korea. Also, with its unique patented ‘Orchestra Blasting Method’, it can efficiently bore large-scale tunnels while minimizing noise and vibration, preventing environmental damages caused by construction projects.
Leveraging these technologies and expertise, the company is successfully carrying out a number of large-scale EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) projects in foreign countries, including the Tufanbeyli TP Project and Istanbul Road Project in Turkey, PACO Project in Panama, and Sentosa Gateway Tunnel Project in Singapore.
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