The world's largest hard rock tunnel boring machine (TBM) has been fully assembled and will soon begin work on the 10.4km Niagara tunnel project, part of Ontario Power Generation's Sir Adam Beck hydro complex in Ontario, Canada.

The TBM, named ‘Big Becky’, will bore a tunnel 14.4m in diameter at a depth of up to 140m below the city of Niagara Falls. The tunnel will transport water beneath the Niagara Escarpment, enabling the Sir Adam Beck stations to produce an additional 1.6BkWh/yr, or enough for 160,000 homes.

The tunnel project is expected to be completed by late 2009.

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