Panama takes delivery of TBM

8 September 2010

The TBM that will bore the 8km long interceptor tunnel for the Panama City Wastewater Treatment Plant was delivered to Manzanillo, Colon on 24 August.

The Herrenknecht Utility Tunnelling machine M-1494M EPB-Shield is 107m long and has a 3,670mm outer diameter. Contractor Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO) is constructing the tunnel, which will collect the capital city's water and convey it to the new plant.

Named Gloria, after the mother of Panama’s president, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, the TBM has 26 disc cutters, each 13 inches, and is scheduled to run 24 hours a day. The tunnel will be constructed with a segmental lining.

The Panamanian Ministry of Health has received a USD 45M loan from the Interamerican Development Bank for the project because of its efforts to decrease the levels of contamination in Panama City’s rivers, coastal zones and Panama Bay. Nippon Koei of Japan has provided feasibility studies and developed the basic engineering for the scheme.