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Corrib Tunnel wins International award

The Corrib gas pipeline tunnel in Mayo has won a prestigious award from the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The “Environmental Initiative of the Year” prize was presented at the ITA’s annual conference on 19 November.
Corrib tunnel awards

Accepting the ITA award in Switzerland on behalf of Shell and its partners were Aoife Reynolds (2nd from right) and Paul Kieran (3rd from right). Also pictured is (l to r) Maria Ingold, MC, Rick Lovat, ITA Vice President and Soren Eskesen, ITA President.

The International Tunnelling Association is an industry body which represents companies involved in the building of tunnels all over the world. The competition, which identifies and recognises “outstanding developments in the field of tunnelling”, received more than one hundred entries from tunnelling projects in China, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

Overviews of the short-listed entries were presented to several hundred industry specialists and other participants at the association’s annual conference in Zurich recently.

The Corrib tunnel, which was entered in the Environmental Initiative category, competed with a project in Italy’s Brenner Pass as well as the Doha Metro project in Qatar.

The 4.9km long Corrib tunnel, which is the longest tunnel in Ireland and the longest gas pipeline tunnel in Europe, was built under Sruwaddacon Bay an EU designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC).  Innovative approaches were devised for the mitigation of noise, light, visual impacts and construction activities during the two years it took to build the Corrib tunnel.

Welcoming the news, Ronan Deasy, Managing Director for Shell Ireland said that the ITA’s award was welcome recognition of the high quality of work that the Corrib team had delivered.  “The care and attention that Shell Ireland and its contractors, BAM Civil and Wayss & Freytag, paid to environmental issues during the construction of the tunnel, is an excellent example of how innovative environmental management processes and controls can be successfully integrated into a project,” he said.

Ronan continued:  “The Corrib facilities are technically ready to receive gas from the Corrib field. We await the final approval from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and look forward to delivering gas before year end.”

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