Abramovich orders colossal German tunnel borer

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has commissioned German manufacturer Herrenknecht to build the world's largest tunnel borer.

Abramovich orders colossal German tunnel borer
The world's largest tunnel borer in 2001. Photo: DPA

Abromovich’s company Infrastruktura and Schwanau-based Herrenknecht AG signed a contract for the deal in Moscow on Wednesday, according to news agency Interfax. The tunnel boring machine will cost an estimated €100 million, and take two years to manufacture.

The massive drill will have a diameter of 19 metres and be the biggest of its kind – the largest such machine in existence measures 15.43 metres in diameter.

Abramovich, also the owner of London football club Chelsea, wants to tap into a niche of the Russian market with the huge machine. Infrastruktura estimates it will get several billion dollars in tunnel building contracts once they have the new borer.

The company plans to use the tunnel boring machine to build infrastructure projects in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as facilities for the 2014 winter Olympics to be held on the Black Sea at the Russian resort city of Sochi.