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Suppliers conference for the construction of Stad ship tunnel

The Norwegian Coastal Administration aims to announce the competition for turnkey contracts at the end of 2021.

In September, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) held a suppliers conference, where relevant stakeholders who can contribute to the effective and sustainable implementation of a design and construct contract for the construction of Stad ship tunnel participated

From the Suppliers conference

Stad ship tunnel is a fairway, with a tunnel in the form of a long mountain hall and entrance structures as main elements.

This is intended as a turnkey contract, which includes both design and execution. Simplified, the work includes:

  • Preparation of an appropriate execution plan and detailed design.
  • Logistics.
  • Establishment of intersections / tunnel mouths
  • Tunneling - similar mountain halls (caverns).
  • Establish structures - similar solutions as for quay and pier facilities.
  • Mass handling.

− We are using this form of supplier dialogue to ensure that the basis for competition will allow for good alternatives and possible solutions, explains Director general Einar Vik Arset at the NCA, who also chairs the project committee for Stad ship tunnel.

This is important so as to be able to present the project and the process to relevant suppliers - but also to find solutions, technology and alternatives that we haven’t thought of. It is about ensuring that the basis for competition does not exclude good alternatives and solutions
Director general Einar Vik Arset , the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

The NCA aims to announce the competition in the first or second quarter of 2022. Furthermore, the aim is to sign a contract in 2022/2023, which will then give the start for the construction of the Stad ship tunnel in the second half of 2023.

− This progression means a slightly delayed start up, and thereby a slightly later opening of the ship tunnel than was previously outlined. The start-up phase of projects of this dimension defines the subsequent process. It is extremely important to ensure a correct start for this extensive project, which means that we have an extremely thorough process for this procurement, project manager Terje Skjeppstad says.


Stad ship tunnel is primarily what is known as a fairway project, and it will be the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel. Parts/elements of the construction of the ship tunnel are methods that is known to the industry. The challenge here is that there are few, if any, comparable projects where all these elements are brought together.

− To put it very simply, this is more like a big, long mutain hall than a tunnel. The upper part of the ship tunnel will be driven through in the same way that ordinary tunnels are constructed. Then the bottom will be blasted out, layer by layer. In mining this is known as bench blasting. This is very extensive work that will be done to make the tunnel safe and navigable. That is to say, establishing structures and rockfall protection that are similar to the solutions for quay and jetty construction, explains Skjeppestad.

And we are talking about huge quantities of excavated material. The tunnel will be 1.7 kilometres long.

− In total, we are talking about around three million cubic metres of solid rock. That corresponds to about eight million tonnes of excavated material. About two-thirds will be large boulders from blasting. The rest will be smaller material from ordinary tunnelling, explains Skjeppestad.



Terje Skjeppestad /



Pål Are Lilleheim /
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