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Tunnel stop for new EnBW pumped storage power plant in Forbach

On 27 June 2024, the blessing and handover of Saint Barbara and the ceremonial tunnel breakthrough took place in the Forbach pumped storage power plant project. As part of the conversion of the Rudolf Fettweis plant in Forbach from a storage and run-of-river power plant to a pumped storage power plant, ϲ Tunnelling is responsible for the cavity construction of caverns, water storage tanks and tunnels by mining tunnelling, the shell of the power plant cavern as well as the construction of two pressure shafts. The client is EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG.

Tunnel stop for new EnBW pumped storage power plant in Forbach.

 

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Mining and tunnelling tradition

It is a tradition among miners and tunnellers to place Saint Barbara as their patron saint at the entrance to the tunnel. She watches over the well-being of the workers and the successful progress of the construction work. The Forbach pumped storage power plant is no exception to this tradition. At the blessing ceremony on 27 June 2024, the statue of Saint Barbara was handed over to the tunnellers and the first blast - the ceremonial first blast - was carried out. The current District President of the Karlsruhe administrative district, Sylvia M. Felder, took over the tunnel sponsorship. The tunnel was christened the Sylvia Tunnel after its godmother.

Tunnelling work begins in the direction of the Schutterstollen/access tunnel junction structure

The total excavated length of the project is around 5,300 metres, of which around 4,700 metres is accounted for by the tunnels. Tunnelling work on the Schutter Tunnel began back in April. In the meantime, around 200 metres have been excavated and the Schutterstollen/access tunnel junction has been reached. With the stop at the access tunnel, tunnelling will begin in the direction of the Schutterstollen/access tunnel junction, which will be reached after approx. 220 metres. The drive towards the powerhouse cavern will continue shortly.

Impressive technical project details

The cavern of the power plants has an impressive size of around 123 metres long, 20 metres wide and 42 metres high. The two pressure shafts of the project comprise 357 metres of SBW (Schwarzenbachwerk) and 153 metres of MuW (Murgwerk). The total excavated volume is around 400,000 cubic metres of solid mass, of which around 200,000 cubic metres are intended for water storage in the main and secondary tunnels.

 

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