The Norwegian Coastal Administration and local authorities have agreed a priority list of commercial initiatives that could receive stone excavated from the Stad ship tunnel.

“We are focused on optimising the Stad ship tunnel project and to create the maximum possible benefit. This includes reusing the stone from the ship tunnel in a sensible manner,” said project manager Terje Skjeppestad.

The tunnel, which will connect to fjords to allow passenger and cargo ships to more safely navigate the Stadhavet Sea, will be 1.7km long, 50m high and 36m wide. More than three million m3 of solid rock will be removed, which is 5.4 million m3 of blasted stone.

In the municipalities of Stad, Kinn and Vanylven, which surround the ship tunnel, there is a shortage of stone masses and interest has been high.

To reduce costs in the project, some of the stone will be used near the ship tunnel for the entrance areas and for new industrial areas in Kjøde and Lesto.

Stad municipal director Kristine Dahl said the stone was a valuable non-renewable resource which would be reused in line with the principles of the circular economy.

“Through the ship tunnel, we get an entirely new shipping route, and the tunnel masses give us the opportunity to build a new and strong infrastructure for all types of maritime transport, business activities, and a world-class destination. The ship tunnel and the excess masses undoubtedly provide us with unique opportunities,” she said.

Core drilling for the tunnel has so far revealed generally good rock quality but water infiltration was greater than expected.