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London Power Tunnels TBM powers up

Tunnelling work on National Grid’s London Power Tunnels was due to get under way this week following the lowering of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) into a shaft at Eade Road in Haringey.

Main contractor Costain won the £200M contract to build the new high voltage electricity cable tunnel between Hackney and Willesden (via Kensal Green) and Kensal Green and Wimbledon in October last year. The new 33km tunnel will house high voltage cables, which National Grid has said will help improve power supply to the capital.

“By housing the cables deep underground we are avoiding digging up London’s road network, which would risk major disruption,” said National Grid project manager David Luetchford. “It also means we can easily access the tunnels to carry out future maintenance work.”

The Herrenknecht earth pressure balance TBM – named Cleopatra by nine year old Tottenham Cub Scout Libby O’Shea – is expected to progress at a rate of 120m per week. Tunnelling work is scheduled to be completed in 2014 and associated works will finish in November 2018.

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