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Follo Line Project in Norway: Tunnel TBM Contract signed

The Norwegian National Rail Administration and a joint venture formed by Acciona Infraestructuras S.A. and Ghella S.p.A. have signed the EPC contract for the TBM tunnel. This is the second EPC contract award in the Follo Line Project, currently the largest infrastructure project in Norway.

The tunnel EPC contract covers the engineering, procurement and construction of a twin railway tunnel. This is the largest railway contract to date in Norway with an approx. value of 8.7 billion NOK (1 billion euro).

Extensive experience

The consortium formed by Acciona and Ghella, has extensive tunneling experience. The Norwegian National Rail Administration has awarded this important tunneling contract with the joint venture, based on a high quality and competitive offer.

"With this TBM-contract, being the largest contract awarded so far by the Norwegian National Rail Administration, Acciona-Ghella has become one of our main partners to make this mega project a success. The Norwegian National Rail Administration is proud to welcome this joint venture to Norway.This contract and the contract strategy is essential for the important InterCity development, which will provide increased rail capacity and reduction in journey time for passengers in Norway several generations to come," says Mr. Gunnar Løvås, Deputy Director General for the Norwegian National Rail Administration.

The Norwegian National Rail Administration will follow up the execution of the work by safeguarding and ensuring that progress, quality, safety requirements, environmental requirements, noise regulations and working conditions are performed as demanded in the comprehensive contract. The Follo Line Project, starting from Norway’s capital, is executed on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. The project is managed by Project Director Mr. Erik Smith.

Long term partners

"Acciona is looking forward to work with the Norwegian National Rail Administration to deliver a world-class, high-speed rail infrastructure for Norway. This is Acciona’s first project in Norway, and we are proud to bring our international tunnelling expertise to what clearly is a flagship project for Norway and Europe," says Mr. Luis Castilla, CEO of Acciona Infrastructure.

"We are proud to share the trust of Jernbaneverket with our long term partner Acciona. We are both strongly committed to add the Follo Line tunnel to the outstanding success we have reached for the last 15 years together," adds Mr. Enrico Ghella, CEO of Ghella.

Acciona (Spain) and Ghella (Italy) are currently working together on the Legacy Way motorway tunnels in Brisbane, Australia, and have won awards for the Australian project’s environmental stewardship as well as international daily, weekly and monthly speed records for tunneling machines.

Cooperation in Norway

The Tunnel TBM contract covers drill and blast excavation of caverns for the assembling of four tunnel boring machines and cross passages between the two tubes. 19.5 km of the twin tube rail tunnel, will be excavated by the four TBM’s. The contract also comprises the installation of railway systems.

The joint venture has sourced key competence in Norway through the Norwegian branch of PEAB and Atkins. The cooperation concerns respectively groundwork at the rigg area, Åsland, and railway engineering expertise. Through the law firm Haavind, the joint venture will ensure that Norwegian employment rules and wage conditions are fully understood and complied with.

Source: Jernbaneverket, Kathrine Kjelland

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