MOSCOW, May 7 (Xinhua) -- A new gigantic Chinese-made shield machine has been munching mud and gravel under the ground of Moscow since Tuesday, propelling China-Russia cooperation in infrastructure construction.
The large equipment, named "Victory", was developed and produced by China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC).
The shield machine has been working for a section of the "Large Circle Line" or the "Third Interchange Contour" in Moscow, excavating two tunnels with a total length of nearly 3 km.
With a diameter of 10.88 meters and a weight of 1,700 tons, the titan is the largest Chinese-made shield machine working in Europe.
Xue Liqiang, head of the CRCC metro construction project in Moscow, said "We've all put our hearts into it."
All components were shipped from the Chinese city of Shanghai to Russia's St. Petersburg via the Suez Canal in 48 days, and then to Moscow.
"The machine is specially customized to the Moscow metro construction environment and it can certainly deal with the city's harsh winter," said Gao Yutian, head of the section.
"When the machine was being developed, we made technical specifications for it ... We tried to make full use of all previous experience," said Konstantin Orlov, deputy chief engineer of the section.
Although six Chinese welders were unable to come to Russia due to COVID-19 restrictions, the project team hired 12 Russian welders and other skilled workers to assemble the machine, with the help of Chinese specialists online.
The machine was assembled in 35 days and launched as scheduled, which was "indeed a victory," Moscow's Deputy Mayor Andrei Bochkarev said.
For Xue, the safety of all personnel weighs heavily on his mind. His team has taken precautionary measures, including disinfecting working places, checking workers' temperatures, and requiring mask-wearing, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"The project is under the close attention of the governments of the two countries. Our large shield machine will demonstrate its capabilities through its work," Xue said. Enditem