Ghella, Eiffage, through its subsidiary Eiffage Génie Civil and leading of the consortium, Spie batignolles and Cogeis, has been awarded by TELT, lot 1 of the base tunnel for the French side of the Lyon–Turin railway line, between Villarodin‑Bourget/Modane and Italy.
This €1.47 billion contract (of which around €660 million for Eiffage share) involves excavating a 22-kilometre twin-tube tunnel, using two tunnel boring machines for the dual 18-kilometre stretch toward Turin and traditional excavation methods for the dual 4-kilometre section toward Lyon. The project also includes the creation of the safety site at Modane, connecting galleries, and refuges and cross-tunnels for operations and safety.
This project will employ over 700 people in peak periods and will generate almost 8.5 million working hours, including at least 100,000 access-to-employment hours.
With preparations estimated to take more than a year, the works will be completed in around 72 months.
The consortium is committed to a substantial reduction in carbon emissions on this project, in particular through reusing material excavated from the tunnel to make concrete.
The railway tunnel running under the Alps between France and Italy is one of the longest in the world, with a total of 115 kilometres (2 x 57.5 kilometres) of tunnel.
In May 2014, also in a consortium with Eiffage, Spie batignolles and Cogeis, Ghella secured the contract to complete surveying works starting from the downhill section at Saint-Martin-la-Porte in Savoie, which required the excavation of a 9-kilometre exploratory tunnel using a tunnel boring machine and 3.5 kilometres of galleries excavated using traditional methods. The current works should be completed in the first quarter of 2022.