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World first innovation developed for Tideway

Tideway Hydrofraise Chambers Wharf 3to2

A new innovation developed for the Tideway project has led to a quieter, electric excavation machine.

The mains electrically-powered ‘hydrofraise’ diaphragm walling machine is being used to dig the shaft for the main tunnel at the super sewer’s Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey.

Tideway geotechnical construction manager Martin Stanley said: “As well as being more environmentally friendly, it also means the machine will be quieter when it’s in use.

“This type of hydrofraise machine is thought to be one of the first of its kind in the world, so we are really proud we’ve been able to launch it and will continue to look at ways of reducing our carbon footprint and minimising any disruption to our neighbours.”

The hydrofraise started digging at the end of August and has been developed by the team building the east section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel – a joint venture of Costain, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche.

The new machine will be used to dig shafts at Chambers Wharf, Deptford Church Street and King Edward Memorial Park in Tower Hamlets. After which it will return to the Soletanche Bachy Group for projects around the world.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a 25km tunnel, running from west to east London, that will help tackle sewage pollution in the River Thames.

Readers' comments (1)

  • For those who are unaware of the well-established hydrofraise technology a very good overview of how it works, and of its use in other projects, is given here:
    This article does not clearly report on exactly how the 'new innovation' of a 'mains electrically-powered' system works, compared to the existing conventional powering systems used elsewhere.
    I hope this gives a bit more of a technical understanding and depth to this article.

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