Herrenknecht’s first China plant in Guangzhou hosted a visit by the Chinese Premier and German Chancellor on 3 February. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Premier Wen Jiabao visited as part of Merkel’s trip to China.

A Herrenknecht spokesman said the Chinese market generates approximately 20 per cent of sales by the Herrenknecht group. The spokesman added, “To date Herrenknecht machinery has been used in 275 projects in China, mostly for inner-city tunnel construction.

“As many as 480km of tunnel tubes have been built over the past years, while a further 200km are being planned. For metro construction alone, 172 machines have been and are still being used in 18 cities.”

The spokesman credited the country’s economic growth and increasing urbanisation for the figures. The Guangzhou branch was opened in 2002.

Martin Herrenknecht spoke about important Chinese and international projects, and showed the leaders a 6.95m EPBM that will be used on Dongguan Metro Line Two in the country’s south.