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FAIR particle accelerator facility: € 220 million contract for ZÜBLIN and STRABAG in Germany

Press release   •   Apr 28, 2020 10:41 CEST

Photo montage of the future FAIR particle accelerator facility (Image credits: ion42/FAIR)
  • FAIR: one of the world’s largest and most complex construction projects for international cutting-edge research
  • Consortium of Ed. Züblin AG, Züblin Spezialtiefbau GmbH und STRABAG AG to build the extended shell for the southern section of the facility
  • Contract value of approx. € 220 million

ZÜBLIN and STRABAG have successfully acquired a new project in Germany. Working under a consortium arrangement, the two companies will build the extended shell of the southern section of the FAIR particle accelerator facility in Darmstadt, Germany. When it is completed, the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research will be the world’s only particle accelerator facility for cutting-edge research into the evolution of the universe and the structure of matter. FAIR will be able to produce matter in the laboratory that otherwise only occurs in the depths of space.

“The heart of the facility is the underground circular accelerator currently under construction with a circumference of 1.1 km. The accelerator passes through an underground tunnel lying up to 17 m below the surface. The facility’s southern section mainly includes the downstream storage rings and experiment stations. We are delighted to be able to apply the enormous variety of our group’s competence – from building construction to ground engineering – to this outstanding research project,” says Thomas Birtel, CEO of STRABAG SE.

FAIR is being built at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. The partners behind the customer FAIR GmbH come from Germany, Finland, France, India, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden. The contract for the extended shell of the southern section of the facility has a value of € 220 million for ZÜBLIN and STRABAG. Construction is scheduled to start in June 2020 with completion in summer 2023.

Technical infrastructure, tunnel sections and 24 buildings on a 150,000 m² site

Around 3,000 researchers from all over the world will work at FAIRafter facility commissioning. The circular accelerator is complemented by a complex system of storage rings and experiment stations. When completed, the 150,000 m² site will house a total of 24 buildings as well as tunnel sections and complex technical infrastructure. Twelve of the 24 structure will be built by the ZÜBLIN and STRABAG consortium, including various underground facilities for beam guidance, buildings for experiments and warehouses with heavy crane runways, etc. for managing and equipping the mechanical systems. The scope of services also includes various storage and supply buildings.

ZÜBLIN working on FAIR since July 2017

Through its subsidiary Züblin Spezialtiefbau GmbH, ZÜBLIN has been involved in the mega-construction project since July 2017. As the technical lead of a consortium, the company has been providing the complete design-and-build excavation services in the northern section of the facility, including retaining works, dewatering and pile foundation. The consortium also includes Max Bögl Stiftung & Co. KG, Stump Spezialtiefbau GmbH and STRABAG AG, Cologne. ZÜBLIN also organizes the overall construction logistics for the overall FAIR project: The order includes, among other things, the regulation of access control, delivery and space management and the installation of temporary infrastructures.

STRABAG SE is a European-based technology group for construction services, a leader in innovation and financial strength. Our services span all areas of the construction industry and cover the entire construction value chain. We create added value for our clients by our specialised entities integrating the most diverse services and assuming responsibility for them. We bring together people, materials and machinery at the right place and at the right time in order to realise even complex construction projects – on schedule, of the highest quality and at the best price. The hard work and dedication of our more than 75,000 employees allow us to generate an annual output volume of around € 16 billion. At the same time, a dense network of numerous subsidiaries in many European countries and on other continents is helping to expand our area of operation far beyond the borders of Austria and Germany. More information is available at

Stuttgart-based Ed. Züblin AG has about 14,000 employees and, with an annual output of about € 4 billion, is one of Germany’s largest construction companies. Since it was founded in 1898, ZÜBLIN has been successfully realising challenging construction projects in Germany and abroad and today is STRABAG Group’s leading brand for building construction and civil engineering. The company’s range of services comprises all construction-related tasks – from civil engineering, bridge building and tunnelling to complex turnkey construction to construction logistics, structural timber engineering and public-private partnerships. ZÜBLIN attaches great importance to partnership-based cooperation, and our ZÜBLIN teamconcept has proved its value as a successful partnering model for about 25 years now. Current construction projects of the company, a subsidiary of globally operating STRABAG SE, include EDGE East Side Berlin,, the Rinsdorf and Rälsbach viaducts on the A45 motorway, and the Boyneburg Tunnel on the A44 motorway. More information is available at

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