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Herrenknecht AG
Private (AG)
Industry Heavy equipment
Founded 1975
Founder Martin Herrenknecht
Headquarters Schwanau, Germany
Key people
Martin Herrenknecht, President & CEO
Products Tunnel boring machines
Revenue 1,051 million (2013)
39.3 € million (2013)
Number of employees
4600 (2014)
Divisions Traffic Tunnelling, Utility Tunnelling, Vertical Drilling Rigs

Herrenknecht Vertical GmbH, Maschinen- Und Stahlbau Dresden,

Herrenknecht Formwork Technology GmbH,
Website www.herrenknecht.com

Herrenknecht AG is a German manufacturer of tunnel boring machines, headquartered in Allmannsweier, Schwanau, Baden-Württemberg. It is the worldwide market leader for heavy tunnel boring machines. Roughly two-thirds of the 4,600[1] employees work at the company headquarters in the installation of hydraulic and electronic components is carried out as well as final inspection. Approximately 300 work at three different locations across China. The company contains 82 subsidiaries around the world and has worked on 2,600 projects.[2][3]


Martin Herrenknecht established the Martin Herrenknecht engineering company in 1975.[4] This becomes Herrenknecht GmbH (limited liability company) two years later with the capital of 20 million euros.[5] By 1984, Herrenknecht had opened its first subsidiary abroad in Sunderland, England as Herrenknecht International Ltd.[6]

The company later acquired shares in Maschinen- und Stahlbau GmbH of Dresden in 1991. Following the merger of Maschinen- und Stahlbau GmbH, Herrenknecht became a joint-stock company (AG) in 1998 and expanded worldwide. At this time, the name was also changed to its current form.

To increase the capacity of the Elbe Tunnel in Hamburg, Germany (completed in 2002), the firm used a 14.20m diameter TBM, which was the largest in the world.[7] The famous Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland used the firm's machinery and was completed in 2009. Eight £10 million tunnel boring machines were commissioned for the 13 miles of Crossrail which is under London in 2011.[8] The cutting-heads are 6.2 metres across.

In 2014 the company reported a record level of orders at 1,200 million euros, aided by the expansion of Middle Eastern and Asian cities, especially with new metro systems.[9]

Products and services

The company works with the mining, transport and energy sectors. It builds TBMs for road, railway, metro and utilities construction.[10] In mining, the firm offers a range of automation technology that includes underground vehicles, conveyor belts and monitoring systems, as well as shaft drilling equipment.[11] Oil and gas pipelines, fossil fuel exploration, geothermal energy equipment and electricity tunnels make up its business with the energy industry.[12] Its drilling rigs can reach 8 kilometers underground and its TBMs range in diameter from 10 cm to 19 meters.[13][14]

Other services include tunneling personnel, spare parts/refurbishment, installation, rental and re-use TBMs.[15] As an international company, 90% of its sales are to the export market.[16]


Herrenknecht has three offices in Tehran, Iran and has a variety of operations in the country. The American government believes there are a maze of tunnels used to cover up the state's nuclear programme, and although the firm's involvement is not known, they have completed many projects in Iran.[17][18]


  1. "Our employees - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  2. "Facts & Figures - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  3. "Company - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  4. "History - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  5. "Register portal". www.handelsregister.de. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  6. "Filing history". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  7. "http://www.wf-ingbau.de/fileadmin/inc/pdf/projects/en/fourth_elbe_tunnel.pdf" (PDF). www.wf-ingbau.de. Retrieved 2015-06-08.  External link in |title= (help)
  8. Topham, Gwyn; Correspondent, Transport; Schwanau, in. "Crossrail unveils German machines that will bore into the heart of London". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  9. Zeitung, Badische. "Wirtschaft: Rekordniveau: Tunnelmaschinenbauer Herrenknecht legt kräftig zu - badische-zeitung.de". Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  10. "Tunnelling - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  11. "Mining - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  12. "Exploration - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  13. "Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc. | International Pipeline Exposition". internationalpipelineexposition.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  14. "Facts & Figures - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  15. "Services - Herrenknecht AG". www.herrenknecht.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  16. "Herrenknecht baut die grössten Tunnelbohrmaschinen der Welt: Der Bezwinger des Gotthards". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  17. Broad, William J. (2010-01-05). "Iran Shielding Its Nuclear Efforts in Maze of Tunnels". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  18. "Herrenknecht". www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 

External links