This Norway Ship Tunnel Will Be A First of Its Kind

This Norway Ship Tunnel Will Be A First of Its Kind

Norway ship tunnel will be a first in the world

Norway on Wednesday gave its green light to the construction under a mountain of the first maritime tunnel in the world, to avoid dangerous waters to boats.

The passage of 1.7 km in length and 36 meters in width in a landscape separating two fjords in the west of the country must make it possible to avoid particularly delicate navigation off the Stad peninsula, an area often swept by Storms. “The Stad tunnel for boats will finally be built,” said Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen, presenting a comprehensive transport plan for the period 2018-2029.

“The Kråkenes lighthouse, just south of Stad, is the meteorological weather station with the most stormy days, which can be anything from 45 to 106 days per year,” says the Norwegian Coastal Administration, which announced the project Wednesday.

Norway ship tunnel
Norway ship tunnel

“The government is now ensuring a safer and more reliable passage of the most dangerous and harsh waters for the transport of goods along the Norwegian coasts,” he said.

The North Sea is often dismantled off the peninsula, and many ships have to wait for a lull before they can go offshore. Already in their day, the Vikings, however distinguished navigators, hesitated to borrow these waters and preferred to hoist and transport their boats by land.

Elsewhere in the world, tunnels for barges already exist, such as on the Canal du Midi in France, but Stad will be the first to accommodate ships up to 16,000 tons for freight transport and Passengers, including the iconic Bergen-Kirkenes Coastal Express, which connects the south to the north of the country.

The Norway ship tunnel, estimated at 2.7 billion kroner ($330 Million USD), is expected to take between three and four years to begin work in the first half of the 2018-2029 multi-year plan, the government said.

The tunnel is due to open in 2023.


Norway Ship Tunnel Facts



  • 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 1 billion for this project in the final period of the National Transport Plan 2014-2023.


  • NCA will deliver a pilot project to the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the spring of 2017. Further, the project will undergo an external quality assurance process (KS2) before the project is presented to the Parliament, who then formally decides on project funding.
  • Quality assurance has been carried out (KS1 report), which was commissioned by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Finance for KPU 2010.
  • Stad Ship Tunnel is part of the Norwegian National Transport Plan (NTP), with a limit equal to the costs – estimated at NOK 2.7 billion. NOK 1.5 billion is part of the NTP that runs from 2018 to 2023.


  • 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: 49 metres.
  • Width between tunnel walls: 36 metres.
  • Cross-sectional area: 1625 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 2,7 billion.
  • Construction time: Approx. 3-4 years.

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2 thoughts on “This Norway Ship Tunnel Will Be A First of Its Kind

  1. The world’s first tunnel for ships is to be built in Norway. The Stad Ship Tunnel, which is expected to open in 2023, will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea.

    Engineers will first have to blast 8m tonnes of rock to build the tunnel which will be able to accommodate cruise and freight ships.

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