• Driving significant

    positive change
    in this world

  • Gripper TBM

    Boring Dia. 8.1 m,
    YinSong Water Divison

  • Metro EPB Tel Aviv

    Boring Dia. 7.54

  • EPB & Rectangular

Hard Rock Tunnel Boring Mchines

High-Tech vs. Hard Rock

CREG TBM Germany GmbH builds the whole range of Hard Rock TBMs. All types of Hard Rock TBMs are customized designed for each project. We manufacture Gripper- , Single- and Double-Shield TBMs in highest quality under strongest requirements. CREG TBM Germany GmbH also manufacture Reamer TBMs, TBMs for inclined shaft (inclination up to 100%) and special machines for non-circular profiles. The boring diameter of TBMs is between 1,5m and 15m.

Our Cutter Heads for Hard Rock are in high-efficiency rock-breaking design with non-linear disc cutter arrangement for support ability in adverse geologies and small cutter spacing to enhance TBM excavating capacity. Also for small cutter heads CREG engineers applied back-loaded cutting tools technology.

The Main Drive of cutter head is electric, the rotation speed is frequency controlled.
Air conditioned operator cabin, switch gear cabinets, hydraulic power packs, transformer and all other things which are needed to serve the TBM are installed on a customized designed Back-Up behind TBM.

Gripper TBM

The Gripper TBM is the classic and mostly used form of TBMs in hard rock with medium to high stand-up time (usual UCS = 100 to 300 MPa / RQD = 50 to 100 % / joint exceeding > 0,6 m).
CREG TBM Germany GmbH builds Gripper TBMs as    - Open TBM with dust shield
(acc. to the DAUB)                                                              - TBM with roof shield
                                                                                              - TBM with roof shield and side wings
                                                                                              - TBM with cutter head jacket
CREG TBM Germany GmbH design the Gripper TBMs with two versions of gripper systems – Main Kelly or Main Beam – chosen by project requirements.

Gripper TBM – Main Kelly                                                                                 Gripper TBM – Main Beam                                
QINLING Railway Tunnel Project, China                                                   Jilin Yinsong Water Diversion Tunnel Project, China
Excavation-Ø 8,83 m / Gneiss (UCS up to > 350 MPa)                                           Excavation -Ø 8,03m / granite, limestone, tuff (UCS up to > 150 MPa)

For rock support the gripper TBMs can be equipped with several equipment like anchor drills, probe drill, mesh installer, shotcrete equipment or similar.

Single Shield TBM

Single Shield TBMs are used for tunneling projects where most of the tunnel route passes through draw rock and/or fissured rock, which requires immediate security measures to kept it from collapsing. As the name “Shield TBM” says, the TBM is built with a shield around the entire machine, to protect the crew and the machine and to support the tunnel temporary. At the tail of shield the tunnel lining (segment ring) will installed inside shield. The thrust jacks pushing directly against installed segment ring and thrust the machine forwards. The boring process is cyclic interrupted because of segment ring installation.

Single Shield TBM with active articulation
Taohe River Water Diversion and Supply Project, China
Excavation-Ø 5,75 m / ??? (UCS  up to > 200 MPa)

A special variant of single shield TBMs are the Closed TBMs, used in hard rock and also in fractured rock. These special TBMs are solutions to excavate tunnels under water table were the water inflow prevented by compressed air. Also were the cutting face will supported by using the Slurry or EPM principle.

Double Shield TBM

Double Shield TBMs are used like Single Shield TBMs for tunneling projects where most of the tunnel route passes through draw rock and/or fissured rock, but has the advantage to have a continuous boring process without interruption for segment ring installation.
The double Shield TBM has two main parts, the front shield with cutter head / main drive unit and the gripper shield with clamping unit / segment ring installation area. Both main parts are connected together with the thrust or telescopic jacks.

In normal case the gripper shield is clamped to the tunnel wall and the thrust jacks pushed the front shield forwards. In the same time the segment ring installation could be done inside tail shield. Auxiliary thrust jacks inside gripper shield supports the installed segments.
When rock conditions goes too bad, means gripper shield can’t clamp to tunnel wall, the Double Shield TBM can be used as a Single Shield TBM by using the auxiliary thrust jacks which will push the whole TBM forwards.

Double Shield TBM                                                                                                                        Double Shield TBM
Lanzhou Water Source Project, China                                                                              Guadarrama Railway Project, Spain
Excavation-Ø 5,48 m / ??? (UCS up to > 200 MPa)                                                   Excavation-Ø 9,46 m / Granite (UCS up to > 250 MPa)

Da Nhim Project Hydro Electric Power Plant, Vietnam

The Da Nhim Hydroelectric Power Station is a power station on the Da Nhim River in Vietnam. Phase 1 construction started in April 1961 and was finished in January 1964 and was the first hydropower plant in South Vietnam. Actually the hydropower plant will be extended to provide more electrical energy for the quickly developing area of South Vietnam.
The Hard Rock Gripper TBM was used in a project in Italy before and was refurbished and modified by CREG in a close cooperation with the construction company. The machine with 3,90m boring diameter is equipped with anchor drill rig, steel beam installation device and spaying concrete area, to cope with the rock conditions of the 4200m long tunnel of Da Nhim project.
Project Data
Project nameDa Nhim HEPP
Total tunnel length4.200 km
Finished Dia.3,90m
PurposeWater Inlet Tunnel
Ground conditionsGranite, Granodiorite, up to 180 MPa
  • TBM had to be modified for new project (add. probe drill + anchor drill, shotcrete system)
  • Modification and refurbishment was executed on site in Vietnam
TBM Data
TBM TypeGripper/ Kelly TBM
Boring diameter3,90m
Cutter head power1.200 kW
Max. torque1.400 kNm
Total weightApprox. 350 t
Cutting tool17"/front loader


CREG supplied an 8.03m gripper TBM to Lot 4 of Jilin Yinsong Water Diversion Project. This TBM is equipped with integrated multiple system coordination and control technology, high-efficiency rock-breaking cutter head with non-linear cutter arrangement and small cutter spacing, with efficient, safe and fast support system and geology forecast/detection with 3D induced polarized probe. Out of the 22.955km tunnel, the TBM needs to bore through 7km karst cluster, fractured zones and soft ground. CREG TBM adapts well to this geology with average equipment availability exceeding 95% (weekly) (highest 99.1%).
Project Data
Project nameYinsong Water Diversion tunnel
Total tunnel length20,198 km
Finished Dia.7,40m
PurposeWater tunnel
Ground conditionsGranite, Limestone
  • Max. daily advance rate: 58,6 m
  • Max. monthly advance rate: 735 m
  • Granite UCS 80 to 130MPA
TBM Data
TBM TypeGripper TBM
Boring diameter8,03 m
Cutter head power3500 kW
Max. torque8410 kNm
Total weightApprox. 1600 t
Cutting tool19" back loading

Beirut, Lebanon

A number of years ago the Great Beirut Water Supply project (GBWSP) was established to improve the drinking water provision of the greater Beirut area and strengthen the weakly structured southern settlement area of the Lebanese capital. The project is being sponsored by the World Bank. As from 2019, some 40 million m³ of drinking water per year will flow through the new supply pipes to a reservoir, which will supply the entire Beirut region. A total of 24 km of tunnels will be driven within the scope of the GBWSP mainly by mechanised means using TBMs. Connecting tunnel with partial lengths of 4.1, 10.4 and 8.1 km will be excavated by two CREG hard rock tunnel Boring machines. Gripper TBMs are used with 3.50 m boring diameter, which have the advantage of a cross gripping system. This makes it substantially easier to maintain the direction of driving in the in partly complicated geology .Furthermore it facilitates the installation of the support closely behind the face.
Project Data
Project nameGreat Beirut Water Supply Project
Total tunnel length23,866 km
Finished Dia.3,1m
PurposeWater tunnel
Ground conditionsDolomite, Limestone
  • Shotcrete, Anchor & Probe drill in L1 area
  • Granite UCS 50 to 170MPA
TBM Data
TBM TypeGripper-kelly TBM
Boring diameter3,5 m
Cutter head power1200 kW
Max. torque1800 kNm
Total weight500 t
Cutting tool17" back loading

Lanzhou, China

This project aims to supply water to Lanzhou City from Liujiaxia Reservoir. The TBM tunnel is about 24.4km with maximum overburden of 918m and rocks with high strength. CREG supplied a double shield TBM with boring diameter of 5.48m, which has efficient hard rock cutting capacity and emergency handling ability.
Project Data
Project nameWater Source Project
Total tunnel length24 km
PurposeWater tunnel
Ground conditionsQuartz schist, quartz diorite, granite
  • Maximum overburden of 918m
TBM Data
TBM TypeDouble shield TBM
Boring diameter6,4m
Cutter head power2100 kW
Max. torque5768 kNm
Total weight1000 t
Cutting tool19" back loading