Norway begins construction of the world’s first ship tunnel

Following the government’s budget negotiations, funds have been set aside for the start-up of the Stad Ship Tunnel in 2021.

Illustration: The Norwegian Coastal Administration.

– Stad Ship Tunnel is an exciting project that is unique in a world context. It has been a long journey, and the funds have not always been sufficient. After the budget negotiations, there will now be funds to start the project in 2021. This means that the project will be carried out. This is a big day for the northwestern part of Norway, says Minister of Transport, Knut Arild Hareide, in a press release from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

– We have noticed that there is political agreement to initiate the Stad Ship Tunnel project. This is a large, comprehensive, and not at least interesting project. When it is approved by the Parliament, we are more than ready to build the world’s first full scale ship tunnel. We are looking forward to establish a project organization, preparing a tender basis and preparing for tenders, and in parallel with this, starting the processes of land acquisition, says Director General Einar Vik Arset at the NCA.

Who further emphasizes that this is a project that will attract great attention both nationally and internationally.

Construction might start in 2021

The project is not yet approved by the Parliamentg. Therefore, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will present a proposition on the project as soon as possible. As soon as the project is approved by the Parliament, the work can continue. If necessary approvals and start-up funding are in place, the NCA believes it is possible to start construction towards the end of 2021.

Stad Ship Tunnel has been through thorough pre-projecting and -planning, as well as quality assurances. In 2018, the quality assurance showed that the project would cost NOK 3.7 billion. One billion NOK more than National Transport Plan (NTP) estimates.

Since then, the NCA has reviewed the project to reduce costs. This autumn, the NCA’s proposal has been through a simplified quality assurance. The final report was ready on November 5th. It stated that the project will cost NOK 3.45 billion.

– Stad Ship Tunnel is an important project for western Norway. The Stad ocean is one of the most weather exposed areas along the Norwegian coast. With a ship tunnel, we want to improve safety at sea. The project will also facilitate the establishment of a high-speed vessel route, and the transfer of goods from land to sea transport,” says the Minister of Transport.

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