Media release

Construction work starts on Granitztal tunnels

Around 250 guests gathered today to mark the start of construction in Austria's Lavanttal valley | By 2020 a consortium under Implenia's technical leadership will have completed work on the 7.8 kilometre stretch

Dietlikon, 24 April 2015 – At the northern portal near St. Andrä around 250 invited guests are gathering at noon today to celebrate the start of construction on the Granitztal tunnels. In a roundtable discussion Alois Stöger, Austria's Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Christian Kern, Chairman of ÖBB-Holding AG, and Christian Späth, Regional Head Implenia Austria, emphasised the importance of the project. The 130 kilometre-long Koralmbahn line is currently the largest expansion project within the Austrian rail network. When completed in 2023 it will provide the first ever direct link between the major centres of Graz and Klagenfurt. A consortium consisting of Implenia and Hochtief Infrastructure won the order to build the 7.8 kilometre section between St. Andrä and Aich at the end of 2014. The contract is worth around EUR 140 million (Implenia's share: 50%). The client is ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, which has responsibility for allocating the different sections. Implenia is the technical lead for construction.

After prayers, a blessing and some words from a tunneler, the drilling work on the Granitztal tunnel chain was formally started around noon when the tunnel "godmother" symbolically started up a digger. The tunnellers thanked her with a bouquet of flowers. Most of the section will require tunnelling of one sort or another. Drilling will be used for the Deutsch-Grutschen tunnel (approx. 2.6 kilometres) and the Langer Berg tunnel (approx. 2.9 kilometres). The section between these two tunnels (approx. 0.6 kilometres) will use conventional open construction techniques, and will include a bridge over the Granitzbach stream. The work also requires hydraulic engineering, landscaping, road building, pipeline construction and materials installation. It should all be completed by April 2020.

Implenia has recently strengthened its infrastructure business in Europe with the acquisition of Bilfinger Construction. "Winning the contract to build the Granitztal tunnels is a good example of Implenia successfully exploiting the infrastructure megatrend. We are extremely pleased to be realising this groundbreaking construction project for ÖBB,” says Implenia's CEO Anton Affentranger.

The 7.8-kilometre section of the Koralmbahn line between St. Andrä and Aich is being built by a consortium in which Implenia has the technical lead.

Implenia press contact:

Natascha Mathyl

Communications Manager

Tel.: +41 58 474 74 77


ÖBB-Holding AG press contact:

Christoph Posch

Press Officer

Tel.: +43 664 6170021


Implenia is the leading construction and construction services company in Switzerland. Formed in 2006 from the merger between Zschokke and Batigroup, Implenia can look back on around 150 years of history in the construction industry. Implenia brings the expertise of its highly skilled Modernisation & Development, Buildings, and Tunnelling & Civil Engineering Sectors, as well as its Switzerland and Norway Regions under the single roof of a nationally and internationally active company. With its integrated business model and specialists operating in all its divisions, the Group can manage a building project through its entire lifecycle and deliver work that is economical, integrated and customer-centric. The focus is on striking a sustainable balance between financial success and social and environmental responsibility. With Bilfinger Construction, Implenia has a strong platform in the German, Austrian and Scandinavian markets from which to exploit the "infrastructure" megatrend.

Implenia has its headquarters in Dietlikon near Zurich and employs around 8500 people. In 2014 it posted pro forma turnover (including Bilfinger Construction) of around CHF 3.6 billion. The company is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (IMPN, CH0023868554). For more information, please visit www.implenia.com.