The Ismailia road tunnel is a twin tube road tunnel that will cross the existing and new Suez Canal north of the city of Ismailia. It is part of a larger development project in the Suez Canal corridor. The completion of the development project including the tunnel is of the highest priority in Egypt and is supported at all levels of the governent. It is seen as a catalyst for economic growth to the region. The pressure is high to deliver this project on a tight schedule.
The Ballard team was brought in to support round-the-clock interventions using the TBM manufacturer’s documentation procedures. We had been brought in to replace another service provider for a variety of reasons. Soon after our arrival, production rates increased significantly and decompression sickness that had been reported previously dropped to zero for the Ballard supported work.
As the project continued, the pressure increased. Ballard utilized saturation techniques to increase production rates despite pressures over 6 bar. This was accomplished with a combination of contractor-owned and rental saturation habitats and hyperbaric shuttles. With difficulties in sourcing blended gasses, Ballard custom-blended oxygen and helium to create a safe atmosphere in the two sets of living chambers and shuttles.
The EUR6.58 billion New Suez Canal Project is planned to feature a new 72 km-length parallel branch of the 190 km-long Suez Canal from Deversoir to al-Balah which will cost EUR3.22 billion and six new tunnels to connect the Sinai peninsula to the Egyptian homeland which will cost EUR3.36 billion.