The theme for next year’s event, to be held from April 19-25, is Tunnelling for a Better Life. It will focus on the latest sustainable development trends in tunnelling and underground engineering.

WTC2024 will be held at Shenzhen International Convention and Exhibition Center, which offers a 20,000,2 exhibition area. The organising committee said the exhibition would open potential opportunities in China’s vast tunnelling market.

Over the next 5-10 years, China will plan 362 extra-long railway tunnels with a total length of 5,359km. Among them, there are 38 rail tunnels over 20km in length, with a total length of 993km.

The organising committee describes Shenzhen as “one of the frontier cities in the field of tunnelling engineering in China” and WTC2024 will feature visits to some of the most technologically advanced projects. They include Shenzhen-Zhongshan Channel, the world's widest steel-shell immersed tube tunnel; the Pearl River Estuary Tunnel of the Shenzhen-Jiangmen Railway, China's largest undersea tunnel under construction in terms of depth and water pressure; Shenzhen Huangmugang Integrated Transport Hub Project which includes a bridge, artificial island, tunnel and underground interchange; Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen Intercity Railway; the underground China-Shenzhen Qianhai Integrated Transport Hub; and China-Mingzhu Bay Underwater Immersed Tube Tunnel, a large inland river immersed tube tunnel.

The congress will focus on 17 main topics, including geology and exploration, design innovations, mechanised tunnelling, conventional tunnelling, immersed tube tunnels, shafts, information technology and application, tunnel inspection and monitoring technology, sustainability and low carbon, tunnel construction equipment, and architecture and aesthetics, as well as discussions on advanced technologies and concepts in tunnelling and underground engineering.

The deadline for abstracts is May 31.

WTC2024 delegates will also be able to enjoy Chinese cultural performances and Chinese cuisine. Shenzhen is home to Chinese cultural heritages such as Tian’s paper-cutting, Kirin dance, lion and dragon dance, as well as traditional food such as cloud cake.

For more information, click here to visit the WTC2024 website.