Gamuda Australia and Laing O’Rourke are partnering on a major infrastructure project in Sydney, Australia. The two companies formed a consortium that won the A$2.16 billion Western Tunnelling Package in February 2022. The project is part of the NSW Government’s Sydney Metro program, Australia’s biggest public transport project.
Australia’s first autonomous tunnel-boring machines
The project will use autonomous tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) to build twin, nine-kilometre rail tunnels between Sydney Olympic Park and Westmead. This is the first time the technology has been used in Australia.
Gamuda contracted long-time technical partner, Germany’s Herrenknecht, to design, build and deliver the TBMs. The machines incorporate artificial intelligence software first developed by Gamuda for projects in Malaysia. The software automatically steers, operates and monitors a number of TBM functions.
While an operator remains in control, the autonomous system takes on repetitive tasks. The technology allows the TBMs to be more accurate and precise, reducing maintenance and overall time and cost required to excavate tunnels.
The autonomous TBMs will start excavating the tunnels at the end of 2023.
How Austrade helped
Austrade has been working with Gamuda since 2017. The agency provided information on major infrastructure projects in Australia, invited the company to investment-focused roundtables and provided ongoing briefings to assist business development.
In 2019, Austrade supported Gamuda’s visit to Australia. This included setting up meetings with stakeholders within state governments. This gave Gamuda an overview of Australia’s major infrastructure sector and tunnelling projects.
Over 2020–21, Austrade worked with Gamuda to pursue opportunities in Australia. The agency:
- Provided updates on major infrastructure projects in NSW
- Invited Gamuda to attend virtual briefings and events hosted by government infrastructure delivery agencies
- Advised on changes to Australia’s foreign investment framework
- Provided advice and support for travel exemptions to Australia.