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Construction begins on substation to power TBM

Reference designs released for T2D Project

Work has begun on the Tonsley East Substation, which will power the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will excavate tunnels for the River Torrens to Darlington project in South Australia (SA).

It is being set up to ensure TBM operations have a dedicated source of electricity.

The substation, which will also power the parallel 4km southern tunnels once they are completed in 2030, is the first construction to occur in direct relation to the T2D Project and will be undertaken by SA Power Networks and its subsidiary Enerven.

It is expected the substation will be fully operational ahead of expected start of TBM works on the southern tunnels in 2026, with a similar one to be established in the Richmond area to power the TBMs that will build the 2km Northern Tunnels in 2029-2031.

Minister for Energy and mining Tom Koutsantonis said the substation will be an instrumental role in building the River Torrens to Darlington Project.

“Following on from extensive preparatory works – such as ground investigations, the relocation of utilities and demolitions – the building of the substation is the first example of genuine construction on the motorway,” he said.

“It will occupy the site of the large former Mitsubishi building that used to front South Road, and it will help provide a dedicated and reliable source of energy for the crucial initial stage of the Project.

“Not only will the substation provide power for the two huge tunnel-boring machines that will excavate the parallel 4km Southern Tunnels, but will also form part of the ongoing energy supply to the tunnels once they are completed and fully operational.”

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