Thursday, June 14 12:49:56
The final phase of the Corrib gas project involving the construction of a 4.9km long tunnel is to go ahead with the creation of 100 jobs.
BAM Contractors Ltd (formerly Ascon), together with Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG - both Royal BAM Group operating companies - have been awarded the contract by Shell E&P Ireland Limited to build a tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay in North Mayo, as part of the Corrib gas project.
The 4.9km tunnel is a key element of the onshore pipeline works, which is the final phase of the Corrib project that remains to be completed.
Welcoming the award of the Corrib tunnel contract by Shell E&P Ireland Limited, Theo Cullinane, Chief Executive BAM Contractors, said: "We're delighted to be working with Shell on the Corrib tunnel, which is one of the most significant energy infrastructure projects in the history of the State. During the construction phase 100 full-time jobs will be created including project management, engineering and tunnelling specialist roles. BAM is heavily involved in sustainable Irish infrastructure and building projects, particularly in the engineering, healthcare, educational, transport, water and waste sectors. We are an innovative company with the proven ability to drive efficiency through the construction process and a strong financial standing based on a strong balance sheet with no bank borrowings."
Work on the contract has already commenced, with preparations for the installation of the tunnel drive shaft currently under way. A tunnel boring machine (TBM) with an internal diameter of 3.5 metres will be used for the work and this is expected to arrive on site during the summer. Tunnelling is planned to start towards the end of the year and is expected to take around 15 months to complete. When the tunnel has been constructed and the TBM removed, the 20-inch gas pipeline will be installed in the tunnel. Once the pipeline and services have been successfully installed and tested, the remaining tunnel void will be backfilled with grout.
The project is expected to be completed in late 2014.
The Corrib gas field lies about 80 kilometres off the north-west coast of Ireland and is strategically important from an energy security perspective as it has the potential to supply up to 60pc of Ireland's gas needs at peak production.