Home|Contact|Members|中文|
Search
Home > News

POWERCHINA drills tunnel in Macedonia

Updated: 2019-03-18

The tunnel of the Macedonia KO Expressway Project was dug through on March 15, marking a major breakthrough in the 56.6-kilometer expressway.

Undertaken by Sinohydro Bureau 7 Co, subsidiary of POWERCHINA, the Macedonia KO Expressway Project is part of the Pan-European transport corridor, and the key landing project of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Balkan region.

It is also among the first batch of projects implemented by the "10 Billion US Dollar Special Loans for China-Middle and Eastern Europe Country Cooperation."

POWERCHINA drills tunnel in Macedonia

Aerial view of the tunnel for the Macedonia KO Expressway Project. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

The expressway includes main roads, 54 bridges, one tunnel, and 200 box culverts. The tunnel, located in the mountain area of North Macedonia, is 4,011 meters long, includes a 2,016-meter-long left hole and a 1,995-meter-long right hole, and is the longest tunnel in North Macedonia.

The geological conditions of the tunnel area, where metamorphic rocks are present, along with the problems of seasonal water seepage and osmolality, have posed safety risks and challenges for the construction project.

During the excavation, the project team adopted pipe-roof protection, steel arch centering, steel support, and deformation control to overcome the challenges of collapse of surrounding rocks, tunnel structure cracks, deformation, and subsidence.

POWERCHINA drills tunnel in Macedonia

The tunnel for the Macedonia KO Expressway Project is dug through on March 15, 2019. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

Major Chinese media outlets have reported on the big event, praising the tunnel breakthrough as representative of the Chinese company’s strength in technology and management, while also noting that the project serves as a model for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Balkans.

The event was also witnessed by representatives of participant units including the Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, POWERCHINA’s Eurasian regional department, and the project owner.