Tunnel Euralpin Lyon Turin (Telt) is inviting contractors to prequalify for tunnelling work valued at €300M (£262M) on the rail line linking France and Italy.
The launch of the pre-qualification process for construction of access shafts, parts of the Modane safety tunnel and twin bore 3km base tunnels between La Praz and Villarodin-Bourget was announced in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The project is part of the overall 270km long Telt scheme to connect Lyon and Turin by rail with the 57.5km Mont Ceris base tunnel as the main component. The Telt scheme involves construction of over 160km of tunnels, chamber and access shafts.
Construction of the Mont Ceris base tunnel is expected to formally start this year and take 10 years to complete and will help cut journeys times between Paris and Milan from seven hours to four.
The documents outline that the latest framework agreement to be let by Telt will include ground improvement work at Avrieux. The access shaft element will include construction of four 5.2m diameter, 500m deep shafts using raiser borer technology. The Modane safety tunnel is to be excavated using traditional method but ground cover is up to 4km in places. The conditions for the base tunnels are also similar.
Delivery of the ground engineering work is expected to take 96 months.
Interested parties must complete the prequalification process by 4 May.