A Chinese firm on Tuesday rolled out China’s largest shield tunnelling machine for export, which is destined for Bangladesh to assist with a river tunnelling project. The export of the machine, produced by Tianhe Mechanical Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd. based in Jiangsu province, will break the monopoly of ultra-large tunnelling equipment by developed countries, according to Zhou Jun, Chief Engineer with the Chinese firm. The machine, with a diameter of 12.12 metres, weighs 2,200 tonnes. It will be used for opening a 3,500-metre road tunnel under Karnaphuli River, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The tunnel construction has been a dream for Bangladesh people, as we want to develop Chittagong Port as good as China’s Shanghai,” said Kabir Ahmed, Chief Engineer of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority. The upcoming tunnel is expected to shorten the ride between Chittagong Airport and a planned industrial park from four hours to barely 20 minutes.