SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C) announced on October 30 that its construction project for the Eurasia Underwater Tunnel in Turkey was named this year’s Global Road Project in the construction technology category by the International Road Federation (IRF) for the first time in the domestic industry.
At the award ceremony held in Dubai on the same day, the IRF selected best global projects in 12 categories, such as safety, environment and finance as well as construction technology of the Eurasia Underwater Tunnel.
The tunnel is the first undersea tunnel connecting Europe and Asia some 110 meters deep with air pressures 11 times higher than the normal air pressure on the surface recognize the technological prowess needed to build the undersea facility according to SK E&C. It also has been designed to resist a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
The Eurasia Underwater Tunnel was opened in December last year and was used by nearly 12 million cars as of the end of September this year. With the opening of the tunnel, vehicle driving hours all across Istanbul are expected to reduce by 52 million a year, while carbon dioxide emissions will decrease 82,000 tons a year.
Previously, SK E&C became the first South Korean construction company that wins the Global Best Project (GBP) of 2016 in the tunnel and bridge sector by the Engineering News Record, the world's leading construction journal, in October last year. In addition, SK E&C's undersea tunnel in Turkey also won the Major Project of the year award given by the International Tunnel Association (ITA) last December while receiving the best model award in the sustainability management social and environment categories from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2015 for its distinguished activities to preserve relics and remains in the Bosphorus strait of Istanbul.
The Eurasia Underwater Tunnel was the mega project worth US$1.25 billion (1.39 trillion won). SK E&C won the deal under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) system in 2008 and completed it in December last year. The company not only constructed the tunnel but also will earn the revenue through maintenance and operation until 2041.