Move over Suez, hello Stad

The Norwegian Coastal Administration 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 Stad Ship Tunnel. The world's first tunnel for ships.


In a supplementary allocation letter for 2021, the Norwegian Coastal Administration has now received a clear signal to initiate the start-up of the Stad ship tunnel. In the allocation letter, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has defined the tasks that are to be initiated.

“Based on the allocation letter, 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 Norwegian Coastal Administration.

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.

75 million NOK in start-up funds has been set-aside in the state budget for 2021. The project is estimated to cost NOK 2.8 billion (excluding VAT), 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.

The process of procuring a contractor includes establishing a procurement plan, prepare tender documents and announce a tender competition. The plan is to host a conference with pre-qualified contractors during the spring / early summer of this year. The goal is to sign a contractor during 2021, which will allow construction to start in 2022.

“If everything goes according to plan, the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel will be completed in 2025/2026,” says Terje Andreassen.

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, Knut Arild Hareide.


    • The Stadhavet Sea is the most exposed, most dangerous area along the coast of Norway. The aim of this project is to allow ships to navigate more safely through Stad.
    • The Storting – Norwegian Parliament – has earmarked NOK 2,7 billion for this project in the National Transport Plan 2022-2033.
    • Conventional blasting is envisaged using underground drilling rigs and pallet rigs.
    • Work on alternative solutions, including the establishment of a new commercial area, is taking place locally.
    • If the project is realized, the Stad Ship Tunnel would be the world’s first full scale ship tunnel of this size.
    • Length: 1700 metres.
    • Height between ground and ceiling: 50 metres.
    • Width between tunnel walls: 36 metres.
    • Height from sea surface to ceiling: 33 metres
    • Sailing height: 33 metres
    • Cross-sectional area: 1661 m2.
    • Volume of solid rock to be removed: Approx. 3 million m3. Equivalent to approximately 8 million tonnes of blasted rock.
    • Total costs: Approx. NOK 3 billion.
    • Construction time: Approx. 3-4 years.

    This article is shared by courtesy of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. Media accreditation to the Norwegian Coastal Admnistration. Throughout the process, the Norwegian Coastal Administration will provide up-to date information on a regular basis.


    Narjiss Ghajour

    Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals

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