Webuild S.p.A.

11/24/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/25/2021 03:32

Webuild completes 82% of Lot Mules 2-3 excavation for Brenner Base Tunnel, sustainable megaproject to link Italy, Austria under the Alps

MILAN, November 24, 2012 - The tunnel boring machine (TBM) "Serena" has arrived at the Brenner after excavating more than 14 kilometres in 3.5 years. The milestone marks the end of work on the exploratory tunnel on the Italian side for the Brenner Base Tunnel, the sustainable megaproject commissioned by BBT SE to connect Italy and Austria under the Alps. It brings to 82% the completion of the excavation on Lot Mules 2-3, an achievement reached also thanks to Progetto Italia that saw Webuild take over Astaldi to help continue this strategic project for sustainable mobility in Italy and Europe.

The event was attended by Webuild General Manager Global Operations Claudio Lautizi and Director Domestic Operations Nicola Meistro. "Today's event fills us with pride because, with this work on the Brenner, we are contributing to the construction of one of the most challenging sustainable and engineering projects in the world. This project is also thanks to Progetto Italia, the industrial operation that had Webuild take over Astaldi, that was undergoing a composition with creditors procedure. This guaranteed the completion of a project that is strategic for all of Europe. It also safeguarded jobs. A special thanks to the workers who allowed the work to go ahead despite the many complications, applying the most rigorous safety standards. Today, Italy is going through an exceptionally active period for the planning and construction of infrastructure projects. We need to take advantage of it, moving towards a virtuous collaboration between the public and private sectors. It is something that we successfully experimented with it on the construction of the Genova San Giorgio Bridge. It should be applied elsewhere in the country, starting with this project."

Webuild is working on four lots of the Brenner Base Tunnel, two of which are under construction, one is completed and another recently awarded. This confirms the importance of its role on such an important project in Europe. On the Italian side, in addition to Mules 2-3, the Group is working on the Isarco River Underpass alongside a supply chain which includes more than 1,000 direct suppliers working on both lots. On the Austrian side, the Group has recently been awarded Lot Gola del Sill-Pfons by BBT SE and has completed the Tulfes-Pfons lot.

The Mules 2-3 is the biggest construction lot of the project, involving approximately 900 direct workers, and 65 kilometres of tunnels excavated by traditional and mechanised methods.

The Brenner Base Tunnel is a strategic project for sustainable mobility in Italy and Europe. It also plays an important role in connecting Italy and Austria with a high-speed/high-capacity railway. It will be part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) that will connect Helsinki in Finland and La Valletta in Malta. Once completed, it will be the longest railway tunnel in the world, connecting Fortezza in Italy with Innsbruck in Austria along a route of 64 kilometres. It will reduce travel times by 69% from 80 to 25 minutes.
The design of the project focused on its environmental sustainability and aiming at the reduction of environmental impact during construction. The logistics of the work sites are designed to reduce travel times for the transport of materials. There are also measures to reduce dust and noise.

The TBM Serena has a diameter of 6.85 metres, a length of nearly 300 metres and a weight of 1,500 tonnes. Having completed its journey it will be dismantled inside the tunnel. Despite the lack of maneuvering room, the work will be done at the highest safety standards thanks to the support of highly qualified people from the Group. With a driving power of 2,800 kW, Serena majestically dug through at least four kilomteres of rock every year despite the difficulties faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.