Sri Lanka’s undisputed leader in project logistics and heavy cargo transportation, Advantis Projects, a subsidiary of Hayleys Advantis Limited, is swiftly moving ahead with the delivery of two of the largest Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) ever to be deployed in the island. This operation will help expedite the progress of one of the nation’s most ambitious modern irrigation development projects: the North Central Province Canal Project (NCPCP).
Also known as the Upper Elahera Canal project, the development envisions the construction of an underground tunnel to transfer water between the Kalu Ganga Reservoir and the Moragahakanda Reservoir, as well as the construction of the Upper Elehera Canal to connect the Moragahakanda Reservoir to the Huruluwewa, Manakattiya, Eruwewa, and Mahakanadarawa Reservoirs.
Upon completion, the project will provide clean drinking water to over 25,000 families in 13 divisional secretariats across Sri Lanka’s water-stressed North Central Province. The project will also provide critical support to national efforts to enhance food security by providing new life to Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector through the irrigation of over 43,000 hectares of essential cultivations.
The two TBMs delivered by Advantis Projects will be utilised to drill a 28 KM tunnel that will supply water to a series of small tanks used for agricultural irrigation – just in time for the next Yala and Maha seasons. With the first unit having already reached its destination, Advantis Projects is now in the process of delivering the second unit to its construction site in Attanakadawela.
While providing support for the construction of large-scale projects as the NCPCP, the Company was faced with complex and challenging obstacles, such as the transportation of the TBMs and its supplementeray components, which collectively weighed 3,000 Tonnes. The machinery was unloaded off cargo ships at the Trincomalee Port and transported in multiple consignments in under 50 days, across narrow, winding roads to remote construction sites, covering an overall distance of 25,000 KM.
“Transporting the two largest TBMs ever attempted in Sri Lanka is a highly complex and challenging task. Given the significance of this movement nationally, we considered this project extremely high value, ensuring that safe and timely delivery was met. We are proud to note that Advantis Projects successfully leveraged their wealth of advanced technical expertise and best-in-class technology to deliver logistics solutions that support our nation,” said Janitha Jayanetti, Group Director of Hayleys Advantis Limited.
Given that the transportation of these units may damage road networks or cause undue inconvenience to the general public, Advantis Projects was conscious of undertaking the end-to-end responsibility of an exhaustive list of supporting functions. Accordingly, as part of the overall delivery, Advantis Projects also undertook the widening of numerous roads leading up to the delivery site, in addition to strengthening and reinforcing several smaller bridges along the route to the construction site.
This in turn required the Company to coordinate and work in close collaboration with Government authorities such as the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Road Development Authority, Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka Police, Sri Lanka Navy and other connected state institutions and local authorities.
“Prior to the cargo reaching the port, we conducted multiple inspections of the route that the TBMs would travel. This included ensuring that all roads, bridges and tunnels were in good condition to accommodate our specialised multi-axel trailers. We also utilised advanced 3D computer simulations of the entire route down to the last inch, as well as multiple real-world test-runs to ensure that we plan with accuracy for every possible eventuality,” explained Shadil Rizan, Director/CEO of Advantis Projects.
Remarkably, the entire project was undertaken by just over 60 employees, including in-house engineers, project managers, operations executives and other skilled staff, who committed in excess of 35,000 man-hours.
The specialised project logistics and heavy cargo transportation services provided for the NCPCP is the latest in a series of milestone projects that Advantis Projects have successfully undertaken. Most recently, the Company contributed towards several of Sri Lanka’s largest civilian infrastructure development projects.