In the spring of 2006, Ferrit was approached by a Czech party that worked closely with a Moscow corporation that, among other things, was responsible for excavation of tunnels, collectors and construction work. The Moscow company was considering participation in a tender for the construction of a collector under the Moscow River in an area that was, and still is, protected by UNESCO. Therefore, it was necessary to carry out the work without disturbing the surface area of the collector opening, or any tunneling and construction work to be carried out at the location of collector installation.
The height difference between the depth of the design work carried out under the Moscow River and the opening of the collector in the protected area was about 50m. The collector therefore had to be accessed with an inclination of up to 12 degrees. Whereas the projected net (internal) diameter of the collector was set at 3200 mm, adequate transport facilities were not available on the market that could handle this type of construction work.
After preliminary negotiations and studying the basic technical parameters in the geological documents, together with analyzation of the required performance and capabilities of the collector supplier, Ferrit suggested implementation of the NZD600/900 rack and pinion track with a diesel-hydraulic locomotive and accessories in order to fufill all needs of the suppliers for the transport of workers, technological material and tailings. Within 60 days, Ferrit prepared a project for transport and mutually agreed it with the supplier. Subsequently, the sales contract was agreed and Ferrit started the project.
There was very little time (6 months) from the beginning of preliminary negotiations to the commissioning of the machinery. The largest amount of time was spent on the manufacture of tailor-made components designed for this project's specific conditions. Delivery included a 1380m track, diesel-hydraulic locomotive, 7pcs of platform for transporting all material, 3pcs of removable buckets with a 5.7 cubic meter capacity for the removal of tailings, complex equipment for discharging material from the buckets to the landfill or into a truck, as well as complete depot equipment, anchoring devices and all accessories for transporting the necessary material to the Lovat tunneling shield.
Installation work started in November of 2006 and operation of the tunneling shield started at the beginning of December 2006. The entire tunnel was completed in seven months. Under good geological conditions, excavation reached up to 12 meters a day. About 36,000 tons of rock were excavated to a collector and over 23,000 tons of concrete, pipe, a binder, a mixture of plaster, sealing foams, electric cables, etc. were transported.
When exporting minerals from the Lovat tunneling shield, the entire kit weighed over 65 tons and the inclined route surpassied +12 degrees. After completion of collector excavation, it was necessary to first disassemble the tunneling shield and its accessories, and drive it back through the collector to the surface at the start of the excavation site. Furthermore was carried out from the admission of the collector towards the opening and on the surface any technological material, transport route and accessories. Just the rack and pinion track weighed almost 300 tons.
Economic and operational results confirmed that our solution was optimal for the given conditions. In 2007, the supplier therefore brought in another set of transport equipment with a total route length of 800 meters. This solution is also currently used at a similar tunneling operation in Moscow. We have a warehouse of spare parts and trained service personnel who are available to carry out repair and inspection of our equipment in Moscow on a moment's notice.