How Much Does a Tunnel Boring Machine Cost?

A tunnel boring machine, or TBM, is a specialized piece of equipment used to bore tunnels through soil and rock. It is also called a “mole” because it excavates by pushing through the ground just like an animal digs a hole.

TBMs are very large and can get expensive, costing around $15 million on average. They are essential for many industrial projects, including constructing roads, railways, sewer systems, and more. This article will discuss the cost of a tunnel boring machine, how to finance one, and where to get financing.

What Is a Tunnel Boring Machine For?

A tunnel boring machine is used to create tunnels for many purposes. It looks like a large drill and has a cutting head that grinds through the ground and a conveyor belt that moves the debris out of the tunnel.

The most common use for a TBM is to create roadways and railways. By boring a tunnel beneath a city, traffic can flow more smoothly without being hindered by stop lights or other obstacles.

TBMs are also used to create sewer systems and water mains. By boring a tunnel for these pipes, construction crews can avoid having to dig up streets and yards to lay pipe. This causes far less damage to the surrounding area and is much quicker than traditional methods of pipe installation.

Tunnel Boring Machine Cost

The cost of a tunnel boring machine will vary depending on the size and type of machine needed for the project. For example, a small TBM can cost as little as $5 million, while a large TBM can cost upwards of $30 million.

Here are the price ranges for some of the leading TBM brands:

  • Herrenknecht AG: $5 million – $30 million
  • The Robbins Company: $10 million – $40 million
  • Wirth GmbH: $20 million – $100 million +
  • Qinhuangdao Tianye Tolian: $15 million – $20 million
  • Terratec:  $10 million – $20 million
  • Hitachi:  $5 million – $10 million

These prices do not include the cost of shipping, assembly, or training. In addition, the cost of a TBM will increase if it is a custom-made machine.

How To Afford a Tunnel Boring Machine

If you’re working on a construction project that requires a TBM, there are a few ways to acquire this construction machine:

  • Lease: You can lease a TBM from a company for the duration of your project. This is a good option if you only need the equipment for a short period of time. However, it can be expensive, and you may not have the same model or features as you would if you purchased the machine outright.
  • Loan: You can take out a loan to finance the purchase of a TBM. This is a good option if you plan on using the machine for multiple projects. It also allows you to keep the machine after your project is completed. The biggest advantage to financing your equipment is that you can often get a lower interest rate than if you were to lease it.
  • Rent: You can rent a TBM from a company on an as-needed basis. This is a good option if you only need the machine for a specific part of your project.

Where To Get Financing for a Tunnel Boring Machine

Given the high cost of buying a tunnel boring machine, most businesses will need to seek out financing in order to afford one. There are a few options available for financing a TBM:

  • Commercial Banks: Commercial banks are a good option for financing a TBM. They can provide both short-term and long-term loans with competitive interest rates.
  • Equipment Leasing Companies: Equipment leasing companies can provide financing for a TBM. These leases are often more flexible than loans, making them a good option for businesses with bad credit.
  • Government Loans: The government offers loans for businesses that are looking to purchase a TBM. These loans often have low interest rates and long repayment terms.
  • Private lending: Private lending is another option for financing a TBM. A private lender will provide you with the funds you need to purchase your machine. However, they might often charge a higher interest rate than traditional lenders. 

For such a high price, financing a tunnel boring machine is no small feat. But with the right financing partner in place, your business can bore through any project!

Fund Your Tunnel Boring Machine With Charter Capital

Charter Capital is an experienced financial broker that can help you finance the purchase of a tunnel boring machine. We have a wide network of lenders that we work with, so we can get you the best financing terms possible. Our family-run business has been assisting businesses of all sizes in getting the funds they need to acquire heavy equipment and start or expand their operations. We’d like to do the same for you.

Contact us today to learn more about our equipment financing services.