AJV of Kajima, Kumagai and Song Da continues to make good progress on the Da Ninh Hydropower Project in Vietnam, with breakthrough of the SELI TBM expected by May.

SELI was awarded a US$8.46M contract in October 2003 for the supply of a double shield TBM with a 5.48m excavation diameter, plus backup gantry for the excavation of a 7.8km long headrace tunnel on the project. A service contract was also incorporated for the provision of technical assistance during the assembly and start-up of the TBM.

With geology characterised as sandstone, rhyolite and andesite, the TBM has been equipped with a cutterhead capable of rotating from 0-11rpm, dressed with 17” cutters, 1575kW of cutterhead drive and 9612kN of maximum cutterhead thrust. T&TI was told by a representative of SELI that excavation was currently progressing at 600m per month. The tunnel is lined concurrent with excavation with a 300mm thick precast concrete segmental lining to give a finished internal diameter of 5.16m.

Located in the Binh Thuan province, 260km east of Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, the Da Ninh scheme is part of the Vietnamese government’s plans to increase the country’s installed generating capacity by 10,000MW before 2010. Da Ninh will contribute 300MW provided by two generators with an installed capacity of 150MW each.

The complete project has been budgeted at US$440M, with 80% of the funds derived from Japan via the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The 20% balance is borrowed from sources with Vietnam.

Generation of electricity is scheduled to start late next year, with the installation being completely operational by 2008.