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Press release

Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner 
Brenner Base Tunnel: PORR consortium begins tunnelling work at south exploratory tunnel

Vienna, 2 April 2019 – On 29 March 2019 tunnelling work for the fourth drilling of Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner began on the south exploratory tunnel, marked by a drilling ceremony. Building the exploratory shaft is a critical milestone in the construction of the largest tunnelling project in the history of Austria. The celebrations were attended by the consortium partners, site supervisors and Brenner Basistunnel BBT SE. The PORR consortium was awarded the contract for Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner in March 2018. The construction will take around six years, with a contract volume of approximately EUR 1 bn.

Anschlagsfeier Baulos H51 Pfons Brenner 1 Copyright BBT SE

BBT Board Member Konrad Bergmeister with PORR Project Manager Claus Melzer © BBT SE


“The Brenner Base Tunnel is one of the most important infrastructure projects for Austria and the European Union. The construction process is very tight and highly organised in order to successfully meet the contractual construction period of 74 months for the shell construction. Our comprehensive knowhow, especially related to every tunnelling method and in project management, is essential for the realisation of this project. We are very pleased to be able to put our expertise to the test in the course of this project”, said PORR CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss. 

Following intensive preparatory work, the excavation of the approx. 5.6 km exploratory tunnel will be realised with the drill & blast method and secured with shotcrete. Here the geological challenges of the Hochstegen zone will need to be overcome. The shaft will run centrally at a depth of twelve meters below the two main tunnel tubes. Around 1.2 km of exploratory shaft has already been driven on the preceding lot "Wolf 2". The breakthrough in the direction of Italy should occur in around four years. 

Largest construction phase on the Austrian side

Work on Lot H51 Pfons-Brenner began in late autumn 2018. The construction phase for the Brenner Base Tunnel involves building two main tunnel tubes between Pfons and Brenner, around nine kilometres of exploratory tunnel, and the emergency stop and transfer point at St. Jodok. The two main, single-track tunnel tubes will primarily be driven with tunnel boring machines (TBMs). This means that a stretch of up to 30 metres can be driven per day and per TBM. The entire lot will be supplied via a single access shaft.

Facts and figures at a glance:

Project name:

Lot BBT H51 Pfons-Brenner


BBT SE Galleria di Base del Brennero Brenner Basistunnel Gesellschaft


PORR Bau GmbH, G. Hinteregger & Söhne Baugesellschaft m.b.H., Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua S.p.A., Itinera S.p.A


74 months

Project type:

Design and build

Tender value:

Around EUR 966m


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