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Tunnelling Update - June 2014
An extraordinary story of the longest tunnel in Ireland and the longest gas pipeline tunnel in Europe
A video which tells the extraordinary story of the longest tunnel in Ireland and the longest gas pipeline tunnel in Europe has been released by Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL).
The 4.9km long Corrib tunnel runs underneath Sruwaddacon Bay in north-west Mayo and will house a key onshore section of the Corrib gas pipeline. Work on the tunnel commenced in January 2013 with breakthrough occurring in May 2014.
A specially designed ‘tunnel boring machine’ (TBM) called ‘Fionnuala’ was used to excavate the tunnel. The TBM, which weighed 500 tonnes and was 140m long worked round the clock as it drilled through rock, clay and sand.
Work is now ongoing inside the tunnel on the welding and installation of the 20-inch diameter gas pipeline, control umbilical and related services. Testing of the pipeline will then take place before the tunnel is backfilled with a grout mix to completely seal it. The finished pipeline will then be ready to transport gas from the Corrib field to the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal for processing.