Since the beginning of the decade underground projects have been experiencing a booming period, which in turn has brought to surface the shortage of skilled labor of this industry.
Several infrastructure projects have been planned, designed, initiated and built. Others are in the bidding phase. Mechanized excavations are a reality - there are three TBMs in operation in São Paulo, one in Rio de Janeiro, four TBMs were purchased and delivered in Fortaleza, two TBMs have been purchased for the excavation of Metro Line 6 in São Paulo, and the Gastau Double-Shield TBM excavation has been completed.
Other major Brazilian engineering projects are either in progress or in the bidding phase, such as the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant, the high-speed train connecting Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo-Campinas (TAV), the transposition of the São Francisco river, the underwater tunnel of Guaruja and investments in the Pre-Salt.
The industry flourished in 2014 when the World Tunnel Congress - WTC 2014 was held in Foz do Iguaçu. But the economic downturn worsened over the last two years and caused many projects to be suspended. Some projects were completed and others are in their final stages. The international market shifted its focus towards more developed and stable economies.
Despite the steep market downtrend, developments achieved in technology and skilled labor reached unprecedented levels. Still, the massive infrastructure bottlenecks are a growing problem, especially in large urban centers. In seeking to address those issues, new business models such as the PPPs were created and at present indicators point to a gradual recovery and rebound of projects.
On the other hand, these changes have forced the major national construction companies to adapt and new opportunities have emerged for the new players of the tunneling industry, driven by the depreciation of the national currency and appealing and facilitated foreign investment opportunities.
Despite the current risks and uncertainties, the crisis can bring about new opportunities in terms of investments and available skilled labor specialized in technology. Now, more than ever, it is clear that construction projects will play a key role in the recovery of the Brazilian economy.
It is in this context, the Brazilian Tunneling Committee - CBT, of the Brazilian Association of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering – ABMS, are pleased to invite you to the ultimate event of the tunneling industry in Latin America, the fourth edition of the Brazilian Tunneling Congress - 4th CBT and International Seminar - Latin American Tunneling Seminar - LAT 2017, which will take place between April 3 and 6 2017, in São Paulo, together with the 9th International Symposium on Geotechnical Aspects of Underground Construction in Soft Ground – IS 9th International Symposium on Geotechnical Aspects of Underground Construction in Soft Ground- TC-204 ISSMGE.
Seventeen key topics will be presented for professionals working in the underground structures industry, followed by debates and interactive sessions in which experiences will be shared and new technologies and market trends in projects, construction, maintenance and operation will be exhibited.
In addition to the technical papers from Brazil and South America, following the success of the 3rd Congress held in 2012, top national and international speakers will give talks on current topics, such as exposition of products, services and equipment, as well as technical visits.
A two-day refresh course on tunneling will be taught by renowned Brazilian and international professionals in tunnel engineering. The organizers of the 4th Brazilian Tunneling Congress and Underground Structures - 4th CBT have the support of the Brazilian and Latin American technical community to promote an outstanding learning, networking and experience-sharing opportunity to all its participants.