The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has received the assignment letter from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which gives a green light to start preparations for the construction of the ambitious Stad Ship Tunnel.
“We will now start the processes of acquisitioning properties in the area where the ship tunnel will be located, as well as put in place a project organization, prepare a tender basis and initiate a tender,” Terje Andreassen explains. He is temporary project manager for the Stad Ship Tunnel at the NCA.
Andreassen further says that the Ministry of Transport and Communications is now preparing a proposition to the Norwegian Parliament about the project. This will be presented during the spring.
Seventy-five million NOK ($ 8.8 million) in start-up funds has been set aside in the state budget for 2021. The project is estimated to cost NOK 2.8 billion ($275 million), with a construction period of three to four years.
“There is much work to be done, but we have carried out extensive studies and planning that will form the basis for the work. The allocation letter requests that the property acquisition be completed, if possible, during 2021,” Andreassen states.
“If everything goes according to plan, the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel will be completed in 2025/2026,” says Terje Andreassen.
The first ship tunnel of this size, the 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. «A ship tunnel would 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.
Specifically, a combination of sea currents and undersea topography creates particularly complex and unpredictable navigational conditions in the area.
Very high waves coming from different directions at the same time can create critical situations, and challenging conditions, which mean reduced speed and predictability for shipping through the very exposed Stadhavet Sea.
The Stad Ship Tunnel will be 1.7 kilometres long, 37 metres high and 26.5 metres wide.