Emisor Oriente
Mexico, Mexiko City
2009 – 2019
The world's largest sewage project

In the past decades, more water has been exploited from the underground than it could regain from rainfall. The consequence: The metropolis of 20 million has sunk up to twelve meters in some quarters. The sewage system has lost most of its efficiency due to the lost gradient and frequent floddings are the result. The new sewage collector "Tùnel Emisor Oriente" with an inner diameter of seven meters will be able to divert up to 150m3 of sewage per second. Additionally, the city plans to reduce the sinking of the city with an intelligent groundwater management system.

It is the world's largest sewage project. The tunnel will have 24 inflow ducts at a depth of between 150 meters and 200 meters. The East Sewage Tunnel consists of six stretches with a total length of 63 kilometers.

Herrenknecht delivered three large-diameter Earth Pressure Balance Shields for the “Emisor Oriente” project and these will excavate nearly 33 kilometers of the gigantic sewage system. In mid-February 2009, the first of the three machines was presented to the Mexican project managers in the Schwanau plant ready for handover.

The launch shaft for the Herrenknecht EPB Shield S-497 was tight - 16 meters in diameter only. The TBM's modular concept was the solution. The gantries  were connected to the machine piece by piece after the machine had started tunnelling. A belt conveyor from the Herrenknecht subsidiary H+E Logistik transports the muck on the three EPB Shields that are operated precisely with a navigation systems made by the Herrenknecht subsidiary VMT. Transport of material and personnel is handeled by rolling stock from the Herrenknecht subsidiary MSD.

In March 2019 the last of the three large-diameter machines reached the target shaft successfully.

Data Sheet

Country, Location

Mexico, Mexiko City


2009 – 2019




Soft ground
Basalt, sand, clay, lava

Tunnelling length

32,989 m

Machine Data

2x EPB Shield:
Diameter: 8,700 mm
Lining method: Segmental lining
Cutterhead power: 1,600 kW
Torque: 6,613 kNm

1x EPB Shield:
Diameter: 8,890 mm
Lining method: Segmental lining
Cutterhead power: 2,080 kW
Torque: 10,251 kNm

Your contact person Contact us

Steffen Dubé President and General Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser Commercial Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.