PORR consortium begins work on €1bn tunnelling project in Austria


A consortium comprising PORR and its subsidiary Hinteregger has commenced tunnelling work in Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner tunnel in Austria.

Work is part of a €1bn contract awarded in 2018 to the consortium by the European Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT) project company.

The 64km BBT is a railway tunnel that is currently under construction and will connect Austria and Italy.

As part of the contract, the PORR-Hinteregger consortium will be responsible for building the Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner section in collaboration with Italian joint venture partners Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua and Itinera.

The consortium started tunnelling work for the fourth drilling of Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner on the south exploratory tunnel.

PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss said: “The Brenner Base Tunnel is one of the most important infrastructure projects for Austria and the European Union.

“The construction process is very tight and highly organised in order to successfully meet the contractual construction period of 74 months for the shell construction.

“Our comprehensive knowhow, especially related to every tunnelling method and in project management, is essential for the realisation of this project. We are very pleased to be able to put our expertise to the test in the course of this project.”

Work under the contract involves the construction of two main tunnel tubes between Pfons and Brenner, nearly 9km of exploratory shafts, as well as an emergency stop and transfer point at St Jodok.

The two main single-track tunnel tubes will be driven with tunnel-boring machines. A stretch of up to 30m is expected to be driven per day and per tunnel-boring machine.

Exploratory shaft excavation will be carried out with the drill and blast method and secured with shotcrete, while the full lot will be delivered through a single-access shaft.

PORR said that building the exploratory shaft is a critical milestone in the construction of the tunnelling project.

Construction is expected to take six years to complete with commissioning planned in 2024.


Image: Officials from BBT and PORR. Photo: Courtesy of BBT SE.

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