POST TIME: 2 August, 2018 09:10:20 PM
Chinese firm accelerates work on first underwater tunnel in Bangladesh

Chinese firm accelerates work on first underwater tunnel in Bangladesh

The Karnaphuli River winds its way through Chittagong, the biggest port in Bangladesh. At the mouth of the river, not far from one end of an airport runway, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is building the first underwater tunnel in the country. The subfluvial project will connect the river’s east and west banks.

In July, Bangladesh is in the midst of its annual rainy season. The hot and humid weather adds to the difficulties of workers completing their jobs, but the tunnel project speeds up construction.

Work on the subfluvial tunnel under the Karnaphuli River, began on December 5, 2017. It will be the first shield tunnel in Bangladesh and South Asia when completed. A forklift operator at the project said that the Chinese company imposes strict requirements on production safety. The CCCC safety management team conducts many safety inspections on a daily basis. Once detected, safety hazards are removed in a timely manner, he said.

The business manager of a local steel mill is proud that his company could collaborate with the CCCC in building the grand subfluvial tunnel. He is impressed by the CCCC’s great attention to quality, efficiency and safety. Currently, his steel mill is producing support bars for the tunnel in compliance with Chinese standards.

The tunnel project’s management department also carries out special material tests. “The designed service life of the tunnel is 100 years. Therefore the materials must be sufficiently durable, so we rigorously control quality,” a staff member said.

The equipment and materials for the tunnel project are mobilized and purchased through CCCC’s global procurement network. Among the many things required, the largest and most critical piece of equipment is the large tunnel boring machine. It was independently developed by China. This machine is about 12 metres in diameter, 94 metres long and weighs more than 2,200 tonnes. It is produced by the CCCC Tianhe Mechanical Equipment Manu and is the largest-diameter mud-water tunnel boring machine China has ever exported.

To ensure project quality, the proprietor has hired a team of international consulting engineers. CCCC has also hired a Chinese professional shield tunnel supervision company, which is acting as the internal supervision body to enhance the management of project safety and quality. ”    BY LIU CHUNTAO