Mayo Today has reported that Tunnelling for the Corrib gas onshore pipeline has started successfully, Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIL) has confirmed. After 17 months of preparatory works, ‘Fionnuala’, the specially-designed tunnel boring machine (TBM), installed the first concrete ring in the segment-lined tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay on Sunday morning last. Construction of the 4.9km tunnel, which will carry part of the Corrib onshore pipeline, is expected to last approximately 15 months.
The tunnel, which is longer than Dublin’s Port Tunnel, is being built by BAM/Wayss & Freytag, a joint venture company which brings with it international tunnelling expertise and experience in the Irish construction sector.
Paul Hughes, SEPIL Tunnel Construction Lead, paid tribute to the team for their efforts in recent months.
“It has taken an enormous effort on the part of the whole team – BAM/Wayss & Freytag and the SEPIL team – to get to the point where we were ready to commence. We are pleased that everything has gone safely, smoothly and according to schedule.
“We have an excellent team in place, made up of German tunnelling experts, a significant number of local workers and existing SEPIL staff for the long phase of work that lies ahead,” he said.
Tunnelling will stop over the Christmas holidays and resume in early January.
There are currently 900 people working on the Corrib project overall, with over 56% of these coming from Kilcommon, Erris and Mayo combined.