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									News Release
                                                                 31 May 2007


A giant tunnelling machine has arrived in Belfast as part of Northern Ireland
Water’s £100 million Belfast Sewers Project.

The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), which was working on a project for the
2012 London Olympics before arriving in Belfast, is 90m in length when fully
installed, the equivalent to a football pitch. This mammoth machine is pushed
forward by 1100 tonnes of thrust, approximately equivalent to 10 times the
thrust of a 747 aircraft on takeoff.

Bill Gowdy, Project Sponsor,commented: “We are delighted the TBM has
arrived. A combination of laser guidance and onboard computer
controls enables the operators to see the exact location in a 3D
environment, ensuring that the tunnel stays on a safe, precise and
steady track. The use of the TBM will ensure that there is minimum
disruption to the travelling public with most of the work being carried
out deep underground. The tunnels will run for a distance of 9.4km
(almost 6 miles) under Belfast.”

The innovative £100 million Belfast Sewers Tunnel Project, part funded
through the Reform and Reinvestment Initiative, is one of the biggest and
most important infrastructure investments in the city.

It will bring significant benefits by supporting the continued growth of the city,
improving the water quality in the Lagan and Blackstaff rivers and reducing
the risk of flooding in the Belfast area. This landmark project should be
completed for the city by 2009.

        Press Office, Room 109, Northland House, 3 Frederick Street,
                             Belfast, BT1 2NR
                            Tel: 028 9024 4711
News Release


All media enquires to NIW press office 028 9035 7695 or email
karina.meredith@niwater.com .

1. The Belfast Sewers Project involves work to upgrade the existing sewer
networks and the construction of a large diameter drainage tunnel to increase
stormwater capacity. A contract to upgrade the sewer network was started in
2005. There are approximately 1,800 km of sewers covering a catchment
area of 42 square kilometres. The older central area of Belfast is currently
served by two large diameter brick sewers which date back to 1888 and a
third concrete sewer which was commissioned in the 1970's. The tunnelling
work is the final part of the Belfast Sewers Project and will provide the
required increased capacity in the sewerage system.

2. The implementation of this project will result in the closure of a significant
number of the existing combined sewer overflows, which will reduce the
pollutant load from the sewerage system on the River Lagan and its tributaries
by 85% of present levels.

3. The route of the tunnels was determined by ground conditions, the
availability of sites for the tunnel shafts, and other logistical constraints.

4. Morgan Est, part of Morgan Sindall plc, is a leading provider of civil,
mechanical, electrical and project management services for water and waste
water projects. Their core areas of civil engineering include roads, rail
projects, bridges and tunnel design and construction. Locally based Farrans
Construction Ltd is part of the Northstone group, a wholly owned subsidiary of
CRH. The company has extensive experience and expertise in the water,
roads & railway, retail, education and healthcare sectors.

5. Northern Ireland Water’s appointed Project Managers are consulting
engineers Atkins supported by their associates Faithful and Gould and AMEC
Specialist Services.

        Press Office, Room 109, Northland House, 3 Frederick Street,
                             Belfast, BT1 2NR
                            Tel: 028 9024 4711

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