At the end of May, excavation was completed during a finishing ceremony for the Calusco tunnel in Italy.

The 9.6km long, 4.3m i.d. tunnel links the raw materials quarries with the revamped Italcementi Nuova Calusco cement plant. During construction, the TBM achieved advances of up to 39m in 24 hours.

The tunnel will be used for fully automated transport operations. A conveyor belt installed in the tunnel, rated at 2.5m/s, will allow the transport of 600tph.

Italcementi said that this new mode of transport for the raw materials would eliminate approximately 10,000 vehicle movements annually on the roads between the quarries.