Saudi Focus

San’ah chipping through the station wall.

San’ah chipping through the station wall.

FCC marks Riyadh Metro tunnelling milestone

November 2015

A consortium led by Spanish construction giant FCC said it has completed the drilling work related to the first tunnel section of Line Five (Green line) of the Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia.

The metro tunnel boring machine (TBM) San’ah reached the Salah Al Din station, thereby completing the excavation of a 1.2-km section of a total of 5 km comprising this line, said a statement from the company.

The consortium Fast, which is led by FCC Citizen Services Group and also comprises Samsung C&T, Alstom, Strukton, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa and Setec, is responsible for the construction of lines Four, Five and Six of the metro.

FCC said these works represent a new milestone for the consortium after becoming the first team to reach a station having excavated the most distance of the tunnel so far – 1.2 km of the total 5 km of the line.

With this progress, the consortium has become the work team that has advanced most throughout the implementation of the metro project, said a senior official.

The drilling work, which began in June at the new central office for the Ministry of Education, will continue on the north section of line Five (Green line) until it reaches Riyadh Airbase Roundabout.

There the works will link up with the consortium’s Dhafrah, the first TBM to start drilling works on the Riyadh Metro project, which will be used to finish the 12.9 km tunnel of line 5, he added.

“Both tunnel boring machines have been the first to reach the milestone which entails drilling this section of the tunnel and meeting the set deadlines. Dhafrah was the first machine we launched and San’ah was the first to get going on the Riyadh Metro project,” remarked Jaime Freyre, the project director of the Fast consortium.

To construct the three lines awarded under the contract, the Fast consortium will use three 19-m-wide TBMs that will excavate tunnels with a circular cross-section.

Overall, seven tunnel boring machines will be used to complete the Riyadh Metro project, which stands as the largest underground commuter train network under construction worldwide, covering 176 km and 85 stations.

FCC consortium plans to complete the job by the end of 2018 and hence will be employing close to 15,000 workers of more than 33 nationalities to accelerate the work.

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