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Malaysian tunnel breaks record

Publishing Date
06 Apr 2011 10:12am GMT
Author
Trenchless World

Pipe jacking  


Malaysian under-river tunnel breaks record
A recently completed tunnel on the island of Borneo has become Malaysia’s longest-ever under river pipejack project. Contractor Kumpulan-Nishimatsu-Hock Seng Lee consortium (KNH) has achieved what has been hailed as a technical milestone, following the completion of the 280m tunnel under the Sarawak river.
The work included the jacking of 92 sewage pipes of 1.5m diameter, as well as the construction of deep shafts in the city to allow lowering and retrieval of the tunnel boring machine (TBM).
During its 280m drive, through mostly hard rock, the laser-guided (TBM) required three changes of cutterhead, although this did not prevent it from arriving at its destination on schedule.
The alternative method would have been to construct an open trench along the entire pipeline route through the city of Kuching, crossing the river by means of a costly bridge and pumping station.
The completed under-river section forms part of an 8km tunnel linking Kuching to a new sewerage plant near the Zecon toll which will process the city’s wastewater and remove a major pollution source. Currently, Kuching’s sewage is stored in septic tanks which are more often than not emptied untreated into rivers, while grey water ends up in rivers and waterways. The main sewer line is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2012, with connections in the central business district starting this year.

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