Anything But Boring -- Rio Tinto's T-2 Tunnel Boring Machine Arrives

John Crawford

A key milestone has been marked this week in Rio Tinto's Kemano Second Tunnel project.

The company joined with the Cheslatta and Haisla First Nations in celebrating the launch of the tl'ughus (pronounced tuh-LUG'-us)  tunnel-boring machine at Kemano. 


The 1300-tonne machine was named by the Cheslatta Carrier nation after a legendary giant monster snake -- and it's decorated with artwork by Haisla Nation students.

Rio Tinto says the machine will  dig 7.6 kilometres of tunnel through a mountain, as part of a 600-million-dollar project to enhance the long-term security of the power supply for the BC Works aluminium smelter in Kitimat.
The second tunnel will supply the Kemano Powerhouse with water from the Nechako Reservoir, creating a back up to the original tunnel that was built over 60 years ago.

[RIO TINTO Graphics]

The tunnel-boring machine will excavate 250,000 cubic metres of rock.

Phase one of the project was finished five years ago, to coincide with the Kitimat Modernisation Project -- the remainder of the project is scheduled for completion in 2020. 

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