Herrenknecht engineers have had only seven months for the design, assembly and jobsite installtion to meet the tight deadline for the Bärenwerk project. With a competent jobsite team and a 1,400kW high-performance drive for the cutterhead of the Gripper TBM, the tunnelling project remained on the fast track. Up to 322 meters of tunnel per week and 72 meters per day have been excavated in Alpine hard rock since the start of tunnelling at the end of March 2013. The tunnelling powerpack crossed the finish line after excavating 2.8 kilometers in challenging geology and not even six months in total. The miners celebrated the successfull breakthrough on September 10, 2013.
The Bärenwerk hydropower plant in the municipality of Fusch in the foothills of the Großglockner mountain, which went into operation for the first time in 1924, now needs to be modernized. An integral part of the project is the mechanized tunnelling of a new headrace tunnel over a length of 2.8 kilometers inclining at 4.9 percent. Upon completion of the construction activities and the extensive overhaul of the technical equipment, it is expected that around 19,000 households will be supplied with electricity from environmentally-friendly hydropower from 2014 onwards.