A huge tunnel boring machine (TBM) which will be used to create the final 5.5km stretch of the Thames Tideway super sewer has arrived in London after being transported 800km over the water from Germany.
The TBM, named Selina, was delivered to Chambers Wharf from Kehl on a giant vessel called the Skylift 3000. It will now be lifted onto the site before beginning the underground journey towards Abbey Mills Pumping Station later in the year.
A total of six TBMs are being used to create London’s super sewer (with two having already finished tunnelling). Selina is the final machine to begin work but will also run to the deepest depth.
The machine will start its journey 60m below the ground and will tunnel through chalk on a slight decline toward the pumping station in east London.
Maurice Gallagher, deputy delivery manager for the eastern section of the project, said: “To welcome Selina to site is a great moment for Tideway – and for London.
“Although there is much work still to be done, her arrival in the capital means we’re on the final stretch – and closer than ever to a cleaner, healthier River Thames.”
Selina is named after Dr Selina Fox, who founded the Bermondsey Medical Mission in 1904. The small clinic and eight-bed hospital provided medical and spiritual care to the most vulnerable women and children in the area, and continues to this day as a local charity.
Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey is a key site for the Tideway project. Not only is it the launch site of Selina, but also the site at which TBMs Ursula (currently en route from Battersea) and Annie (soon to begin the journey from Greenwich) will finish.