Sunday, June 1, 2014

SEPIL Commissioned Project 009 - I Was There!

Huge advances have been made at the Corrib Natural Gas project over the past few months.
One of the biggest milestones was the recent tunnel breakthrough of 'Fionnula', the TBM - Tunnel Boring Machine, which reached it's destination at a receptor pit in Glengad last week after it's 4.9km journey. I was there with photographer Henry Wills and videoographer Fergus Sweeney to witness this incredible feat of engineering and important milestone in the project for Shell. It was a once in a lifetime experience, to see this 140 meter long  machine, which had traveled near five kilometers under Sruwaddacon bay, appear with pinpoint accuracy at it's destination and watch the drivers emerge through the machines gears with a relic of St. Barbara, the patron saint of Tunnel workers and Miners, in their hands.

The occasion also brought to my mind Lars Wagner, who died tragically in September last year while working on the construction of the tunnel. Lars would have just been celebrating his twenty seventh birthday last week.

I'll be working up a painting to commemorate this important moment for all involved, but until then here are some photos I took on the day and a picture by Henry Wills which appeared in the Irish Times newspapers weekend issue.

Engineers set up carefully for Fionnula's arrival.

Engineers and workers for all the companies involved look on in excitement.

Recording the event, more expectant onlookers.

'Bam' Fionnula the TBM breaks through!

Operators Emerge from the gears of the machine and celebrate.
Photo by Henry Wills.

Fun moments!

All smiles and relief.

Celebrations for all involved.

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