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Chinese enterprise solves world problem, builds Algeria’s longest railway tunnel

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online)    16:50, October 31, 2017

The Gantas tunnel, Algeria’s longest railway tunnel, has been built by Chinese enterprise, although it has long been regarded as a sticky business by engineers in the world due to complicated geological conditions, Thepaper.cn reported on Oct. 30.

China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) spent as long as some seven years in building the 14.68-kilometer-long tunnel due to financial matter, complicated geological conditions and different construction standards.

The tunnel lessens travelling time between Oran and Algiers by half to 2 hours only. It significantly promotes industrial development, agricultural modernization and urbanization development, and economic and social development for provinces along the railway, said Wang Wenzhong, vice president of CRCC.

The trunk railway, with an overall length of 2,730 kilometers, is the transportation artery of the North Africa connecting Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Construction of the tunnel is an important and also the most difficult part of the railway, as the rock stratum of the tunnel is mainly composed of marlstone, which swells when encountering water and shrinks after losing water.

Even though the third party intendance of the project SYSTRA, which designed the Channel Tunnel, failed to propose a solution at that time, CRCC put forward a supporting scheme according to its construction experience and consultation with experts, and the scheme was tested to be effective.

The project turned CRCC from a project subcontractor into the prime contractor, which took the responsibility of investment and financing, design, construction and operation of the project.

Moreover, successful construction of the tunnel not only signifies that Chinese enterprises can meet requirement of the European standard, but also can play a significant role in design of major complex projects, said Wang Jinsong, vice general manager of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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