15 Tunnel Boring Machines for Doha’s new Metro System
The State of Qatar is pursuing an ambitious vision destined to provide the highest standards of living to the country by the year 2030. An important component for this is a modern transport infrastructure. Consequently the capital Doha, plagued by congestion, is to receive a completely new metro system. The company Herrenknecht was charged with the delivery of 15 Earth Pressure Balance Shield tunnel boring machines for the expansion of the first section of the Doha Metro. At the end of February at the Herrenknecht plant in Schwanau the Minister of Transport of the State of Qatar, Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, with his delegation composed of senior representatives of the client Qatar Rail and the joint venture QDVC / GS Engineering & Construction / Al Darwish Engineering, that is responsible for the construction of the metro section Red Line South, as well as a representative of the Embassy of Qatar, inspected the first machine completely finished and ready for use. The former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder accompanied the delegation’s visit as a guest.
The Earth Pressure Balance shields Lehwaila and Al Wakra with a diameter of 7050 mm and a cutting wheel drive of 1,280 kW were ordered by the joint venture. The „Red Line“ will not only handle the bulk of the national transport and connect the most important stadiums of the football World Cup in 2022. As a central line it also connects the city center with the airport and the Westbay Central. By the year 2019 the 15 tunnel boring machines are to drive about 90 km of tunnel through the limestone below Doha for the Red Line South, the Red Line North and the Green Line. Further plans envisage the completion of a second section by the zear 2026. Then the Metro with four lines and around 100 stations will connect the residential and business centers of the capital with each other and with the suburbs.
During his visit in Schwanau Qatars Minister of Transport Al Sulaiti underscored the enormous importance of this project for his country: “Qatar holds its hopes and aspirations for the future in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030. One of the most important elements in fulfilling this vision is the infrastructure of the country itself. As such, we have allocated tremendous resources and a generous budget for upgrading Qatar’s infrastructure, to which Qatar Rail’s Doha Metro project is also included.”