Tunnelling through one of the World’s Busiest Districts

19 December 2016

Dragages-Bouygues Joint Venture (DBJV) launched the city’s FIRST Variable Density Tunnel Boring Machine (VaD TBM) in August this year. After some 3 months’ drive, the TBM completed its 680m underground journey smoothly.

This FIRST VaD TBM, named Zhi-nu, can adapt to the face density of the slurry to tackle the problems of heterogeneity and shallow ground conditions. Such is an exemplar of our in-house innovations. By adopting two-component annulus grout instead of traditional mortar, the project team can minimise the space required for mixing plant and material storage on site.

The completed mission by Zhi-nu also symbolises the second journey of another TBM – Athena. She will continue to drive through the city in 2017 for about 1km.

T.M. Lee, General Manager – Shatin to Central Link and Head of Electrical & Mechanical Construction of MTRC
Thank you DBJV for joining us on this never-before journey. By introducing Zhi-Nu, the first variable density TBM to Hong Kong, I am sure new inspirations have been brought to the Hong Kong infrastructure developments. DBJV team, thanks a lot for your professional work and for making history together with the MTR team.

Nicolas Borit, Chairman of Dragages Hong Kong
As promised to our client, our people and the community, we achieved zero interruption of utility services in the course of TBM navigation under one of the world’s busiest districts. Innovation is our key to success. Huge investments were made by our parent company in Paris and our TBMs are equipped with robotic devices which enable us to complete works safely and efficiently.

T.M. Lee and Nicolas Borit delivered part of their speeches in French and in Cantonese – a showcase of mutual respect and appreciation of cultures.