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COWI to Assist Norwegian Coastal Administration with Construction of Stad Ship Tunnel

Project manager for Stad ship tunnel Terje Skjeppestad (left) and COWI’s project leader, Espen Viddal, look forward to collaborating on the construction of Stad ship tunnel. Photo: Sveinung Nedregotten / Kystverket

After a tender process, the Norwegian Coastal Administration has selected COWI as the technical advisor for the construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel.

“COWI will be an important technical partner in the process of procuring and constructing the world’s first ship tunnel,” says project manager Terje Skjeppestad at the Norwegian Coastal Administration.”

The Norwegian Coastal Administration has been assigned the construction of the Stad Ship Tunnel, the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel. The construction project itself will be carried out by a main contractor through a turnkey contract. It is scheduled to be tendered in 2024, with construction possibly commencing in 2025, according to the Norwegian Coastal Administration website.

“With COWI on board, we have secured a skilled partner who will assist us with the ship tunnel. Our new technical advisor will be with us until the tunnel is fully constructed, meaning through both preparatory work and in the tendering, design, construction, and completion phases,” says Skjeppestad.

COWI will complement the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s own project team, which currently consists of 10 employees.

“We aim to maintain a lean project organization and cannot have all expertise in-house. Through COWI, we will gain specialized expertise in various technical fields, which will complement our own professionals. Nevertheless, we anticipate that the project organization will expand significantly when we commence the actual construction of the ship tunnel, either through permanent hires, subcontracting, or utilizing the agreement with COWI,” says Skjeppestad.

COWI is looking forward to collaborating with the Norwegian Coastal Administration and contributing to the realization of the world’s first ship tunnel.

“We have previously served as the design lead on the world’s longest suspension bridge. Projects that are the largest, longest, and first of their kind are something that excites us and that we want to be a part of. Additionally, we have experience and expertise, especially in tunnel operation and rock caverns, which we believe align well with the Stad Ship Tunnel project,” says COWI’s project leader, Espen Viddal, who is looking forward to getting started.

“We notice that this project has generated great excitement internally at COWI, perhaps especially among our employees internationally. It’s an extraordinary project, also on a global scale, that many of our professionals are eager to contribute to,” says Viddal.

The agreement with COWI is a framework agreement for technical consulting services for the Stad Ship Tunnel project, which has been entered into following a tender process. COWI will assist the Stad Ship Tunnel project with engineering work and consulting in all necessary technical disciplines. Disciplines that the Norwegian Coastal Administration considers especially important include geotechnics, geology, structures, technical installations, corrosion, sustainability/environment, and health, safety, and environment (HSE).

The value of the agreement is estimated at 30 – 90 million Norwegian kroner ($2.73-8.18 million USD). Additionally, it includes an option for temporary staffing. With the staffing option, the contract has a maximum value of 150 million Norwegian kroner ($13.64 million USD).

COWI provides a team that also includes SINTEF and Longvas Oppmåling AS as subcontractors.

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.

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