Strabag wins Austria’s largest construction contract

By Sandy Guthrie01 November 2010

Strabag CEO Dr Hans Peter Haselsteiner.

Strabag CEO Dr Hans Peter Haselsteiner.

The contract for the construction of the Koralm Tunnel - the main section of the new Koralm railway link to be built between the Austrian cities of Graz and Klagenfurt - has been signed by ÖBB Infrastruktur and Austrian construction group Strabag.

A consortium under Strabag's technical and commercial leadership will begin work in early 2011 to complete construction on the main section by late 2018.

At € 570 million, it is said to be the largest construction contract ever awarded in Austria.

Hans Peter Haselsteiner, CEO of Strabag, said, "We are currently finishing work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland. It is wonderful that we now have the opportunity again to deploy our decades of expertise in tunnelling in our home country of Austria."

The Koralm Tunnel is described as representing an important section of the Baltic-Adriatic axis of TEN Corridor No 23 between Gdańsk, Warsaw, Vienna and Bologna. On completion, the Koralm Tunnel will be 32,5 km long, making it the longest railway tunnel in Austria and one of the longest in the world.

Strabag, working together with Jäger Bau, will construct two parallel, single-track bores with a length of 20 km each, using two tunnel boring machines with a diameter of 9,9 m. The 8,5 million tonnes of excavated material will be used to produce 1,0 million m³ of concrete for the inner lining of the tunnel.

Strabag said the work represented a particular technical challenge as the only possible access to the underground construction site is through a 60 m access shaft near Deutschlandsberg in southern Styria.

Strabag is one of Europe's leading construction groups. It generated a construction output volume of € 13 billion in the 2009 financial year.

ÖBB Infrastruktur, which plans and constructs railway infrastructure projects, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ÖBB-Holding, which in turn is wholly owned by the Republic of Austria.

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