A CARGO ship named Caribbean Harmony transported the first of the West Gate Tunnel project’s two tunnel boring machines into Melbourne late last week.

The TBM was shipped from Hong Kong on Caribbean Harmony (IMO 9458468), with the trip taking about 25 days.

It is expected to take two to three weeks to transport the TBM to site as it was delivered in hundreds of pieces.

There is to be one massive load, 20 escorted “over size over mass” loads and about another 65 standard semi-trailer deliveries to get all the pieces to site.

The TBM is 90 metres long, 15.6 metres high and weighs 4000 tonne.

The first West Gate Tunnel Project TBM is named Bella after Bella Guerin the first woman to graduate from an Australian university.

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Acting Premier James Merlino joined Acting Minister for Transport Infrastructure Melissa Horne at the Port of Melbourne as parts of the huge machine were being unloaded.

Tunnel boring on the longest of the West Gate Tunnel twin tunnels is to start by the middle of the year.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the government was keen to get on with the project.

“The main piece of equipment to build the West Gate Tunnel is now here and we’re getting ready to start boring,” Mr Merlino said.

“The West Gate Tunnel Project will be Melbourne’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge.”

Acting transport infrastructure minister Melissa Horne was also effusive.

“This contract will boost jobs in Melbourne’s west and our steel contract is already seeing more local jobs to help build this vital project,” she said.

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