India-based KMC Constructions has secured a INR12.74bn ($190.5M) contract from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the construction of a road segment in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Lum Chang Building Contractors has won a SGD325M ($233.8M) contract from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to construct viaducts and a new platform at Tanah Merah station in Singapore.
A consortium comprising Larsen & Toubro and Sojitz has won an INR37.99bn ($569.2M) contract from the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) for a railway project in India.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given the go-ahead to a INR19.6bn ($292M) highway project in the country.
India-based highway infrastructure firm Gayatri Projects has secured a INR9.26bn ($139M) contract for the construction of a road project in Bihar, India.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to provide $1.5bn in funding for the construction of a dual-gauge railway line in Bangladesh.
India-based Gayatri Projects in a joint venture with Russian construction firm PTPS has won a INR12.55bn ($188.3M) highway contract in Odisha, India.
China Railway Group, through its subsidiaries, has won a RMB8.1bn ($1.2bn) contract for the construction of a large railway section in Laos.
Vinci Concessions has signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) for road infrastructure projects in Vietnam.The partnership covers joint development of concession schemes for road projects currently operated by VEC — the Vietnamese highways agency.It will also focus on the construction, financing and operation by VEC and Vinci of new greenfield motorway projects involving Vinci Group Concessions and contracting businesses.Additionally, Vinci Concessions via its subsidiary Vinci Highways will participate in Vietnam’s infrastructure development programme, which will see the construction of a national expressway network, including the 1,800km North-South expressway.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded two engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the construction of two national highway projects worth INR16.46bn ($245.4M) in Jharkhand, India.One of the contracts has been awarded to Ashoka Buildcon and will involve the development of the 57km-long Govindpur-Chas-Jharkhand/West Bengal Border section. The project will include 38km of national highway with four lanes and 19km with two lanes, as well as four railway-over-bridges, one railway-under-bridge and a 5km-long bypass to Maheshpur town. This section will facilitate the transport of coal and steel, thus contributing to industrial development in the country. The INR9.46bn ($141M) project is expected to be complete in two years.The second contract has been awarded to Ramky Infrastructure for the construction of the 41km-long Barhi-Hazaribagh section.The scope of the work will include the construction of five major bridges, three elephant crossings, two vehicular underpasses and an 11km-long bypass to Hazaribagh city.The project aims to improve connectivity of Hazaribagh, Ranchi and Jamshedpur cities to Delhi-Kolkata corridor through NH-2.The development, valued at INR7bn ($104.3M), is expected to be complete within 21 months.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the prime minister Narendra Modi, has approved the construction of nine projects worth about INR240bn ($3.57bn) to enhance railway network across the country.The projects given the go-ahead include:• a third rail line between Ballarshah, Maharashtra and Kazipet, Telangana. The INR24.03bn ($358.3M), 201km-long line is anticipated to be complete in five years.• a third rail line between Itarsi and Nagpur. The line stretches 280km and will involve a cost of INR28.82bn ($429.8M). It is expected to be complete in five years.• a third rail line between Jhansi and Bina. With an estimated cost of INR22.73bn ($339M), the 152.57km-long line is expected to be complete in four years.• a third rail line between Vijayawada Junction and Gudur Junction. The NR38.75bn ($557.9M), 288km-long line is expected to be complete in six years.• a third rail line between Mathura and Jhansi. The 273.80km-long line, with an expected completion cost of INR43.77bn ($652.7M), is anticipated to be complete in six years.• a fourth rail line, with an estimated cost of INR22.98bn ($342.7M) between Jharsuguda and Bilaspur. The 206km-long line is expected to be complete in five years.• a third rail line between Rajnandgaon-Nagpur (Kalumna). The INR21.93bn ($327M), 228.3km-long line is estimated to be complete in five years.• a third rail line between Kharagpur (Nimpura) and Adityapur in West Singhburn district of Jharkhand with an estimated cost of INR14.83bn ($221M). The 132km-long line is expected to be complete in four years.• an INR25.86bn ($385.6M) second line between New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya. The 176km-long line is expected to be complete in five years.
Spanish construction firm Isolux Corsan has secured a €113M contract from the National Highway Authority of India for the construction of a highway project.Under the contract, Isolux Corsan will widen the 72km section of the Highway NH-74 between Haridwar, in Uttarakhand, and Nagina, in Uttar Pradesh, to four lanes. The scope of the work will include the construction of 12 primary and secondary bridges, a high bypass in Njibabad, a bridge over the train tracks and two steps for elephants.It will also include the construction of five bypasses with a total length of 16km, and the creation of service roads, parking for heavy vehicles and a toll plaza.Isolux Corsan is expected to execute the works within 30 months and will be responsible for the project’s maintenance for four years.
A joint venture of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and George Kent (Malaysia) has secured a work package for the Mass Rapid Transit Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line in Malaysia.The work package, known as Package SSP- SY-204, has been awarded by Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) and is valued at MYR1.01bn ($250M).Under the contract, the joint venture will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of track works, maintenance vehicles and work trains. MRT Corp CEO Shahril Mokhtar said: “CCCC comes with very good technical know-how having handled many infrastructure projects, including railway construction. “Its joint venture with Malaysian company George Kent, which now has a strong presence in the railway industry in Malaysia, allows the MRT Project to benefit from the experience of these two very strong companies.”
A joint venture of Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure and Sembcorp Design and Construction has secured a SGD1.107bn ($823.3M) contract for the second packages of works for a three-runway system at Changi Airport, Singapore.The scope of the contract will include pavement and drainage works, mechanical and electrical works, security fencing, perimeter roads, ancillary buildings, as well as other supporting works.CAG’s executive vice president Yam Kum Weng said: “The development of a three-runway system is an important part of Changi Airport’s expansion plans, which will take the Singapore air hub into its next phase of growth.“The project, which takes place amid ongoing airport operations, is complex and requires meticulous planning and excellent execution across different phases.“We look forward to partnering with the Hock Lian Seng and Sembcorp Design and Construction JV in this journey, as we work together to ensure the highest quality and standards in carrying out this project.”Changi Airport’s three-runway system is expected to be operational by early 2020.The first package of works was awarded to a Samsung C&T Corporation and Koh Brothers joint venture in October 2015.
China Railway Group has signed a $3.14bn contract with Bangladesh Railway for the construction of the Padma Bridge Rail Link project in Bangladesh.The 168.6km, single-track rail line will originate from the existing Dhaka station and will pass through the Padma Multi-Purpose Bridge, which is under construction, via Mawa to reach Jessore via Bhanga.The middle section of the line will connect with the existing Rajbari-Kashiani Railway and Faridpur-Bhanga Railway. The entire line will represent the new framework for the Southwest Bangladesh railway network.The project will include the construction of bridges, roadbeds, ancillary works, track-laying works and communication signals.It will also involve the construction of station buildings and ancillary works, purchase of vehicles, construction design, training programmes and remedying defects upon completion of the rail line.The line will have a target speed of 120kmph and is expected to be built within four-and-a-half years.
India-based IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for the implementation of an INIR675bn ($101M) road project in Bihar, India.The scope of the project involves the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Birpur-Bihpur Section of the NH-106 in the state of Bihar, under Phase-I of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). The construction firm has received the letter of acceptance from MoRTH in December 2015, but the agreement was only signed in July 2016.The project will be executed on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis and have a duration of 36 months. Work on the project will start immediately.IL&FS Engineering Services is also working on the Patna Gaya Dobhi Section of the NH-83 in Bihar for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
India-based Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has secured an INR17.49bn ($260M) contract to build two tunnels and a bridge in Jammu and Kashmir, India.Under the contract, awarded by IRCON International, HCC will be responsible for the construction of two main tunnels, the T13 and part of T14, totalling 12.8km along with parallel safety tunnels, a 200m bridge adjoining the two tunnels and a station yard at Basindadhar.HCC’s president and CEO Arun Karambelkar said: "The company is currently engaged in tunnelling works of over 280km across various sectors. Repeat orders from IRCON reflect our expertise in executing complex projects under challenging conditions."The project will be executed within 30 months.
India-based IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company has secured a letter of acceptance from Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited for the construction of Nagpur Metro Rail Project in Maharashtra, India.Under the INR5.32bn ($79M) contract, the company will be responsible for the construction of seven elevated metro stations, and three at-grade stations and viaducts.Construction on the project is set to be complete within 110 weeks.Currently, the company is executing metro rail projects in Bangalore for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, in Gurgaon for Phase II of the Rapid Metro Rail Project (RMRG), in Kolkata for Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), and in Ahmedabad for the Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar & Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company.
Metro projects and hydropower schemes continue to drive India’s tunnelling market, and more opportunities are yet to come but challenges remain in the competitive market, Bernadette Ballantyne reports.Until the turn of the new millennium, India's tunnelling market was dominated by hydropower and irrigation tunnels, many of which meant drilling into the challenging geology of the Himalayas. "These are the toughest ground conditions in the world, closely followed by the Andes and then the Alps," says Manoj Verman, president of the Indian National Group of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) and an independent consultant on tunnelling and rock mechanics. "The geology is very varied.It is not uncommon to encounter weak zones, shear zones, fault zones and water in the same path," he says noting that the high overburden stresses from the mountain can also cause problems. Combined with the inaccessible nature of some of the locations and the climatic extremes that include snow and flash flooding, working conditions are inhospitable at best and impossible at worst. It is clear to see why projects here are so challenging.Early TBM hurdlesDealing with the hard and changeable Himalayan rock has traditionally been a drill and blast affair, but the use of tunnel boring machine (TBM) appears to be gaining momentum despite an inauspicious start. "In mountainous regions TBMs have been used and the first three projects were a disaster," says Verman. "There is frequently changing geology and if a TBM goes fast it can get stuck and that is a nightmare. If the height of the mountain is very high it stresses too much and if the rock is soft then it squeezes, under the same height of overburden if the rock is strong then it will burst so these two are extreme cases and they both happen under high stress."An early example of a stranded TBM was on the Dul Hasti hydropower project in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, which began preliminary construction in 1985 and became operational in 2007. Shear zones regularly crossed the 9.64km head race tunnel alignment and water seepage was high leading to tunnel roof collapses that eventually buried the TBM, leaving it beyond salvation.Better progressHowever there have been some more positive breakthroughs. In June 2014 contractor and TBM manufacturer Seli announced that it had completed 14.7km of tunnelling on the Kishanganga hydropower project in Kashmir, mainly for construction of the 12km headrace tunnel. Revealing average rates of over 400m per month and a maximum of 816m in a single month, the scheme has been widely recognised as a huge breakthrough for mechanised tunnelling in the Himalayas. "This tunnel was a tremendous success," says Verman pointing to other forthcoming schemes that are planning to use TBMs. Client THDC India has appointed Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) to use a TBM for delivery of a 10m diameter, 12km long head race tunnel for the 444MW Vishnugad-Pilpakoti hydropower scheme in Chamoli in the state of Uttarakhand. The TBM is scheduled for delivery and assembly on site in February 2016.Long awaited success in the mountains combined with a huge demand for TBMs to build a growing number of city wide metro schemes, means that TBM manufacturers are upbeat about the prospects. TBM manufacturer Robbins established its Indian subsidiary in New Delhi in 2005."We started by supplying 10m double shield TBMs to contractors for an irrigation water supply tunnel which is 43km long. It would be the world's longest tunnel without intermediate access once completed," says Kapil Bhati, general manager for Robbins India, noting that the company's 10m-diameter machines are the largest in operation in India today. "The tunnel will take the water from a river and then over to a drought affected areas irrigating 500,000 hectares of land and further providing drinking water. We have completed around 25km as of now with two TBMs. We are still continuing and expected to complete 2.5 years from now," he says.Of course such a huge job has not been without its challenges and although boring of the outlet began in 2007 access to the inlet end was not available until 2011 due to land acquisition issues."After that advancements were pretty good even with geology being more difficult than anticipated. We are still doing around 300m/month average on each side of the tunnel so the production average is good in spite of the hard rock and tough geology," says Bhati.Another water tunnel transferring flows from the same river, is also underway using a third Robbins 10m-diameter machine. The tunnel is half way through with three years to go, says Bhati. A fourth 10m-diameter machine is also building a 12km water transfer tunnel.Metro growthAs these schemes roll on, Robbins has also been busy supplying and supporting machines for metros in India's bustling cities. "Soon after the irrigation tunnels the metro projects started," says Bhati and the company began by supplying machines to Delhi and then Chennai. "Delhi Metro was totally soft ground so we supplied a spoke type of earth pressure balance (EPB) machine. Those machines performed very well and had very good advance rates."The geology of Chennai is mainly soft but there are a couple of areas where there is rock or mixed ground and then we have supplied a mixed face EPB machine for that geology," he says."The result has been a more challenging bore in Chennai with rock at the bottom and soft ground at the top combined with ingress of water. Cutter changes and interventions were challenging but we have still been successful. There are around 200m left to bore."In Jaipur which is currently building the first phase of its metro starting with a 12km east-west connection, 2.8km of which are underground, the company met with soft ground. "The contractor had two old Robbins machines in stock so we refurbished those machines for the contractor and those are being used. The main challenge here is the heritage structures over the top. It is an old city," he says noting that in the areas where the metro transitions from elevated to underground there is just 5m of cover and yet the marginal tolerance is just 1mm.Tip of the icebergThese are just the tip of the metro iceberg. "Right now there are metros being built in New Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore. Elevated and underground both," says Sanjib Bhattacharya, chief of TBM tunnelling at ITD Cementation India, which is comprised of Italian Thai Development Public Company Limited with the Indian branch of the UK's Cementation. In his 22 years with the company Bhattacharya has delivered 50km of traditional tunnelling with NATM and 21km of TBM routes. "We just completed 7km of TBM tunnelling in Delhi. I was the project manager and out of 7km there were four EPB TBMs, two mixed shield and two soil all from Herrenknecht. In Delhi out of 36 machines, some 19 were Herrenknecht," he says. The Delhi metro is now undertaking its third phase of construction which will result in a further 160km of new lines 54km of which are underground. At its peak in mid-2014 there were 26 TBMs working simultaneously. The tunnelling is over 80% complete as Tunnels and Tunnelling goes to press and has not been without its challenges. Bhattacharya says that one particularly tough section was a 1.25km drive that ran beneath Delhi airport's runway for a distance of 400m meaning that the contractor was not able to carry out geotechnical investigations."This was very unpredictable because the geological data was not there. We designed our machine cutterheads and cutting tools on the basis of available geological parameters. It was around rock, we encountered quartzitic rock of around 200-210Mpa. Very, very hard. So in accordance with that we designed our machine to 250MPa. But unfortunately when we entered the airport area where the survey was not possible we encountered 350MPA," says Bhattacharya. As a result the construction costs ballooned from USD 14 to USD 15 per metre to around USD 35 as the hard rock quickly ate up the cutters. "It was a huge cost and meant that we were only getting four or five metres per day."As a result progress on this section was two to three months behind schedule, says Bhattacharya, however he points out that better progress on another drive where they avoided the rock and used the soil EPB machine made back the time.Despite having taken cores every 50m the nature of the airport site prevented investigation in this area and Bhattacharya says that the client accepted this when the contractor made a claim for the additional costs. "In India contracts are very rigid. 400m survey was not possible so we put a claim in and this was (logically) accepted by DMRC as the data couldn't be got in advance."Critical geological dataAs this experience shows, obtaining geological data is critical for any tunnelling project and is an area where Verman says that clients themselves need to put in more effort in the planning stages if they want to see their projects succeed. "The biggest lesson I would offer clients is 'please investigate more'. What is absolutely lacking in the country is proper site investigation or geotechnical investigation before the project," he says pointing to a World Bank study which he led five years ago which reached the same conclusion. "In state of the art projects 3–5% of cost is spent on investigations but in India it is not even 0.5%. People always say they have had geological surprises. They are surprises because they are not investigating. That is the biggest lesson that should be learned.""I fully agree," says Bhati. "There is hardly any sufficient data available before the tendering process commences. We understand regarding areas which have the limitations like Himalayas wherein the cover above the TBM is as high as 1 to 2km. On the other hand, water transfer tunnel projects or metro projects have the accessibility of lands which clients want to cut short by not providing the proper information or doing proper geographical mapping which results in the award of the tender to the contractor as it is," he says."The contractor in turn has to gather that information by himself which takes time therefore delaying the project and losing more time. Better and earlier information on geological details allows the manufacturers to design the machines and give them provisions to equip the machine to encounter all the problems in front."One of the side effects of this is that projects are less attractive to international contractors who are not prepared to take the risks pushed onto the contractors under the design and build arrangements. "For the time being, due to aggressive local competition and actual contract versions comprising unacceptable risks for the contractor, we refrain from tendering for tunnel projects in India," a spokesperson for contractor Strabag says.Yet ironically clients are demanding that international firms participate in main contracts. "Indian clients are putting a condition [in place] that the tunnelling manager must be an expert from outside of India," says Bhattacharya who says that the international financing provided to the metros also pushes for European consultants to be involved."It is true that they have more experience than us but the fact is that we are building experience. I have a team now running four TBMs simultaneously and now I am looking at Mumbai and Kolkata. We have the resources. Only problem is that the Indian companies don't have the technical credentials so they can't pass the technical bids so that is why we are making JVs."However he says that this is changing and that for smaller bores of 1-2km Indian contractors are wining projects without international partners. Another advantage that local firms have is their proximity to clients and their long term market positions which mean that local companies are more willing to accept delayed payments through claims. International firms however see this as too risky.One way of reducing risk, says Bhati is to have the TBM manufacturer support the project through its life, not just at the beginning. "Most of the time delays are because manufacturers are not supporting the project and the contractor is not capable of coping with the difficult geology. On most of the jobs what we are doing we are supporting them on execution on a per metre basis," he says.This strategy has been particularly important to the Bangalore metro for which delays have been widely reported in the local media. Mumbai Metro Line three"On Mumbai Metro there are seven packages and we got package four," says Bhattacharya whose firm ITD Cementation are in joint venture with Continental Engineering Corporation of Taiwan and Tata Projects. Financial bids were opened in October and Tunnels and Tunnelling International understands that the client Mumbai Metro Railway Corporation is currently scrutinising the project budget which is lower than the forecast costs. One of the major issues which will be faced in the execution of metro tunnels in Mumbai city will certainly be the rock strata which will push up the tunnelling costs. The entire 32.5km line is underground."Geological survey suggests 90% rock which will vary from 50 to 150MPa," says Bhati who has first-hand knowledge.Contracts for this line are yet to be signed . Other MetrosMumbai may be the next major project set for award but there are many more on the horizon. "Phase four of Delhi is coming with 90km of tunnelling. Bangalore phase one is about to complete and phase two is coming next year. Chennai phase three coming next year. Kolkata has another two underground packages coming," says Bhattacharya also pointing to forthcoming schemes in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad and Puna."The market is very promising perhaps one of the best in the world at this time, says Verman. "Now is the time that the country has to start moving into delivering infrastructure in difficult areas. Many projects are already sanctioned but procedures are such that they are not tumbling out in the way that we expected. However remain very optimistic. I am expecting 2016 to be a crowded year."Data from the Timetric Construction Intelligence Center places the value of work underway with a tunnelling element at USD 31bn however given the scale of projects planned — Verman says there are 3,000km of tunnels in the pipeline, the figure seems likely to rise substantially over the next five years."I was involved in planning a railway through the Himalayas from Rishikesh to Karnaprayag, 125km long alignment of which 105km is in tunnels so that is the kind of project you are looking at and for this kind of distance you have to use TBMs, especially for the longer tunnels," he says.Bhati of Robbins points to four main growth areas for the TBM tunnelling market. "We have hydropower projects in the pipeline which we see being awarded in 2016 and a couple of them will be using heavy provision of TBM. Then the metros like Mumbai which will be awarded in the next few months.Bangalore and Chennai are planning phase two. Seeing the success of Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai everyone sees that it is the best solution possible. For the next 10-15 years one city after the other will keep having metros come up," he says.Water transfer tunnels to divert much needed resources is also a priority, as are road tunnels. "These are the future. People have realised that there is limited space available above ground so we have to go under. There is a 22km underground tunnel in Mumbai which is going to come from the southernmost part of the city through the coast to the airport. It is entirely underground and will be about 12m diameter, and has now been approved.”Learning from the pastExpectations are therefore high for India's growing and maturing tunnelling industry, but challenges remain and Verman urges government to learn from the past in terms of better planning and reducing bureaucracy so that contractors are able to get on and deliver. "There are huge projects coming forward and government should support this industry and nurture it because it is in the government's interest that these projects are built.”
Leighton Contractors Asia in a joint venture with China State Construction Engineering Hong Kong has won an AUD1.58bn ($1.19bn) contract for the construction of Tseung Kwan O—Lam Tin Tunnel in Hong Kong.The contract, awarded by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, will include the construction of a 2.2km two‐lane highway tunnel together with associated slip roads, branch tunnels, viaducts and tunnel portal facilities.The works will also involve the delivery of two ventilation buildings and an administration building, as well as implementation of all associated building and supporting works.CIMIC Group’s executive chairman and CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes said: “Delivering large infrastructure projects in busy urban areas is a core capability for Leighton Asia.“We value the opportunity to contribute our civil engineering capabilities to accommodate future growth through the expansion of infrastructure in such a fast growing city.”Leighton Asia’s managing director Manuel Alvarez Munoz said: “Leighton Asia has developed strong working relationships with both our JV partner, China State, and with our client, the Hong Kong government.“Through continued delivery of infrastructure that enhances Hong Kong’s transport systems, we are in a good position for future work.”Construction will begin in July 2016 and take about five years to complete.