STRABAG and its civil engineering subsidiary Züblin have secured a €220m contract to build the FAIR’s particle acceleration facility in Germany.

Under the contract, both the companies will be responsible for the construction of the extended shell of FAIR’s southern investment area in Darmstadt.

Being construction at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, FAIR is a research institute, which will be able to produce matter in the laboratory as it otherwise only occurs in the depths of space.

Construction work on the project is planned to begin in June this year and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

The construction company said that the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) is expected to be the world’s only particle accelerator facility for the latest research into the development of the universe and the structure of matter after its completion.

Upon completion, the 150,000m² site will accommodate around 24 buildings along with tunnel sections and complex technical system.

The STRABAG and ZÜBLIN consortium will construct 12 buildings among the 24 buildings along with numerous underground facilities for beam guidance.

They will also construct buildings for experiments and warehouses with heavy crane runways to manage and equip the mechanical systems. The work also includes the construction of many storage and supply buildings.

The circular accelerator also includes a complex system of storage rings along with experiment stations.

STRABAG CEO Thomas Birtel said: “The heart of the facility is the underground circular accelerator currently under construction with a circumference of 1.1 km.

“The accelerator passes through an underground tunnel lying up to 17 m below the surface. The facility’s southern section mainly includes the downstream storage rings and experiment stations.

“We are delighted to be able to apply the enormous variety of our group’s competence – from building construction to ground engineering – to this outstanding research project.”


Rendering of the new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Germany​. (Credit: STRABAG SE.)