Five Shield Machines Ordered for Singapore Subway Construction

Mar. 28, 2012

Tokyo, March 28, 2012—Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has received three consecutive orders for a total of five shield machines to be used in constructing the third stage of Singapore's Downtown MRT Line (DTL3). Sato Kogyo Co., Ltd.'s local subsidiary in Singapore, Sato Kogyo (S) Pte. Ltd., placed an order for three shield machines while an additional order for two came from Korean-company SK Engineering & Construction. All five shield machines are scheduled to be delivered by early 2013.


These earth-pressure balanced shield machines (with a diameter of 6.63 m) will be used to complete DTL3, a 21-km subway line now being constructed by Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA). The machines will excavate three sections of DTL3 totaling six kilometers—section C928, which runs from Bedok North to Kaki Bukit Stations, section C930, from Ubi to MacPherson Stations, and section C932, from Matter to Geylang Bahru Stations. Construction is scheduled to be completed around the end of 2013.


Combining shield tunneling technology for soft ground with tunnel boring machine (TBM) technology for carving out hard rock and gravel layers, the earth-pressure balanced shield machine can burrow through mixed layers of rock and soil. The shield machines are outfitted with Kawasaki’s proprietary cutter replacement system, which allows for installation of cutters that best suit the geological composition, as well as an articulation mechanism that enables them to excavate curved sections.


With the latest orders, Kawasaki has amassed an order record of approximately 1,400 shield machines and TBMs from around the world, including 22 from Singapore. The latest orders follow orders for five slurry shield machines for the DTL2 project in 2009.


Kawasaki expects to see additional orders for shield machines coming from Singapore as the country moves ahead with plans for more underground construction work including the LTA’s ongoing subway project. Demand is expected to remain steady for the medium- and long-term throughout Asia with subway and other underground construction work scheduled in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.


Kawasaki is moving steadily ahead to expand shield machine and TBM sales across the globe.