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Malaysia targets tunnelling machine refurbishment to improve efficiency

Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit main contractor MMC Gamuda KVMRT (MGKT) has announced that it is to invest MYR100M (£18M) in a facility to refurbish used tunnel boring machines (TBM) to improve delivery of future projects.

The facility is being developed in partnership with TBM manufacturer Herrnknecht to refurbish, upgrade and modify the TBMs currently being used on the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line.

According to MGKT head of tunnelling Ng Hau Wei, the facility will help recoup the investment made in TBMs for the WSBK Line and lower costs for the next tunnelling project in the region. He added that the facility – the first of its kind in Malaysia – would transfer TBM expertise to Asia.

The refurbishment will be conducted by a team of local engineers, supervisors and trained tunnel crew from MGKTs Tunnelling Training Academy, supervised by experts from Herrenknecht.

“The new learning opportunity offers exposure to such training and experience in the highly-specialised operation of TBM refurbishment and Malaysians will be highly marketable worldwide,” said Ng.

Under the agreement, Herrenknecht will collaborate with local steel and heavy engineering specialist, Waiko Engineering Works, to jointly carry out the TBM refurbishment works.

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