ECRL Dungun tunnel breaks through six months ahead of schedule

Workers from Section 4 posing some 12 metres from Terowong Dungun's entrance.

Workers from Section 4 posing some 12 metres from Terowong Dungun's entrance.

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 2): The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has reached a major milestone as it achieved a tunnel breakthrough at the 871-metre single-bore Terowong Dungun in Terengganu six months ahead of schedule.

In a joint statement today, ECRL project and asset owner Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) and engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd (CCC-ECRL) said the final blast at Terowong Dungun on May 29, 2021 broke through the last barrier some 12 metres from the tunnel’s entrance portal.

They said the achievement at Terowong Dungun is a culmination of approximately 641,520 man-hours and the adoption of the drill-and-blast method of tunnelling that bored through the moderately weathered schist rock.

The firms said the achievement was made more significant as Terowong Dungun was the event site for the ECRL project’s relaunch ceremony on July 25, 2019.

The tunnel breakthrough at Terowong Dungun has taken place less than two months from the inaugural ECRL tunnel breakthrough at the 1.1-km Terowong Paka on April 9, 2021.

The state of Terengganu will feature five ECRL tunnels upon the completion of the project.

MRL chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said the teamwork of some 100 ECRL personnel at all levels had paved the way for the tunnelling works and breakthrough at Terowong Dungun to be ahead of schedule, adding that the overall infrastructure works for the tunnel is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022.

Mohd Zuki also said the ECRL project has 58 tunnels encompassing different lengths and landscape to be constructed along various sections of its 665-km rail alignment.

Meanwhile, CCC-ECRL's managing director Bai Yinzhan expressed confidence that the project team was adjusting well to work under the strict enforcement of SOPs and is making advance progress while keeping the worksites safe.

“Our team has made tremendous efforts to coordinate with our local contractors and Bumiputra project partners to ensure resources such as manpower, materials, and machines are available where we need them.

“We are grateful for the support and understanding given by our subcontractors. Special thanks also go to our team in Section 4 for achieving two remarkable milestones within the short span of two months,” he said.