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Ensuring safer navigation through Stad ship tunnel

DNV led the workshop which was held in Ålesund, attended by many future users of the ship tunnel. Photo: Sveinung Nedregotten

The Norwegian Coastal Administration has conducted a risk analysis aimed at improving the understanding of safety risks and navigation challenges associated with the Stad ship tunnel. This work was done in collaboration with future users of the tunnel.

DNV Maritime Advisory was engaged to interpret and summarize previous tunnel analyses and facilitate a process aimed at improving the decision-making basis for the construction of the ship tunnel.

Important workshop

Previously, the Stad ship tunnel project had conducted theoretical manoeuvring analyses by leading consulting firms such as SINTEF and Multiconsult. While these analyses provided valuable insights, there was a need for a more concise summary and practical interpretation of the result.

Therefore, DNV conducted the following risk analyses:

  1. Interpretation and summarization of previous analyses to propose maximum dimensions for ships navigating through the tunnel, known as a “navigation corridor”.
  2. DNV then organized a workshop with relevant stakeholders to discuss navigation risks and reach consensus on the dimensions of the “navigation corridor”.

DNV led the workshop held in Ålesund, attended by representatives and navigators from the Norwegian Maritime Authority (Sjøfartsdirektoratet), Havila, Hurtigruten, Rostein, NTNU and the NCA’s pilot service. To enhance understanding of the discussed scenario and visualize it for the participants, the tunnel was modelled in a VR scenario where the navigation corridor was shown, and a vessel could sail through the tunnel. The focus of the workshop was to identify hazards, discuss safety barriers, and document other possible recommendations, particularly related to human factors.

Morild VR scene featuring a visualized “navigation corridor”.

Recommendations from the experts

The specific recommendations being considered for further action after the meeting include:

  • Providing power/weather data to vessels in advance so that skippers can assess approach under the most demanding conditions, such as strong currents and high winds at the tunnel entrance.
  • Extending the entrance structure outside the tunnel entrance, ensuring that ships stabilize before entering the tunnel. At the same time, the group has defined the length of the entrance structures so that ships have an option to berth if the skipper decides to abort the approach.
  • Increasing the margin inside the tunnel by expanding both entrance openings in the entrance zone.

– By combining expertise from leading consulting firms like DNV with insights from key stakeholders such as shipping companies, pilots navigators, and more, we have received valuable feedback that we will incorporate into our work with the Stad ship tunnel, says project manager, Terje Skjeppestad.

About the Stad ship tunnel

The Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) has been tasked with building the Stad Ship Tunnel, the world's first full-scale ship tunnel. The construction project will be carried out by a main contractor through a turnkey contract. It is scheduled to be announced in 2024, with construction potentially commencing in 2025.

The objective of the Stad Ship Tunnel project is to improve the navigability and safety of maritime transport around Stad, likely the most weather-exposed and dangerous stretch of sea along the Norwegian coast. Additionally, the project is to be optimized to extract other benefits.

The ship tunnel will be constructed at the narrowest point of the Stad Peninsula, between the Moldefjord and Kjødepollen, in the Vanylvsfjord. The tunnel will be 1.7 kilometers long (2.2 km including entrance areas), 50 meters high, and with a width of 36 meters. This means that vessels up to the size of the Coastal Route/Hurtigruten will be able to safely navigate past Stadlandet.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is a transport agency under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries. Our vision is to develop the coast and ocean areas into the world's safest and cleanest. The Stad Ship Tunnel is a part of this effort.



Terje Skjeppestad /



Sveinung Nedregotten /
The objective of the Stad ship tunnel project is to improve accessibility and safety for maritime transport around Stad. Here is the tunnel entrance at Kjøde. Photo: Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket)/Multiconsult/Link Arkitektur
Photo:Kystverket/Multiconsult/Link Arkitektur
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