The new pipeline for the export of Russian mineral oil crosses the 600-meter-wide River Newa near Saint Petersburg. The river is one of the region's most important sources of drinking water and transportation. The works must not impair river traffic or water quality. Thus the tunnel had to be laid beneath the river bed, under complex geological conditions - extremely fine sand mixed with clay - and with ascending gradients of seven degrees.
On some occasions, the tunnel and river bed were separated by only seven meters; on others drilling took place 20 meters beneath the groundwater level. The AVND2000AB Hydroshield drove the 775-meter-long tunnel under high groundwater pressure. A compressed air bubble in the excavation chamber regulated the tunnel face support, allowing safe tunnelling. Steered by an LNS-P laser system and with a daily average performance of 21 meters, the machine hit the target shaft precise to the centimeter.