WorldWide Drilling Resource

30 MAY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Drilling and Blasting for a Unique Ship Tunnel Compiled by Amy White, Associate Editor, WorldWide Drilling Resource® The Stadhavet Sea in Norway has such rough and unpredictable wave conditions even Vikings pulled their ships across land to avoid them. After all this time, the country is finally getting a promising solution for safe ship passage in the area. Norway is set to begin construction on a ship tunnel, which is the first of its kind on this scale. It will stretch approximately one mile through the mountains and be large enough to accommodate most ships and cargo vessels. The tunnel will improve safety by providing a bypass for many vessels to avoid dangerous waters along the coastline. The idea for a ship tunnel has been around for more than a century as rough waters often hinder the transport of goods to and from the area. Wild and farmed fish are shipped to over 150 countries from this part of the world. Many times, land transport through the mountains is the preferred option, rather than facing delays and danger in perilous waters. Completion of the ship tunnel could vastly improve economic activity in the region; but first, several construction challenges must be overcome to provide the infrastructure necessary for the tunnel and its surroundings. Since roads in the area are not wide enough for construction vehicles, they must be brought in on ships. Once equipment arrives, the tunnel will be built by drilling and blasting. The rock to be excavated is gneiss, a hard metamorphic rock ideal for drilling and blasting due to its solid nature. The mountain through which the tunnel will pass is roughly 985 feet high, causing substantial pressure inside the work space. Utmost care must be taken to keep rock from caving inside the tunnel during construction operations. For ships to pass through safely, the tunnel must be approximately 164 feet high and 86 feet wide. Traditional drilling and blasting will first take place at the top of the tunnel to take out the roof. Once the first level is removed, anchor bolts and shotcrete will be used for safety while vertical drilling and blasting takes place, similar to operations in open mining. Smaller tunnels or roads will be created to provide access to various levels. Wire cutting and blasting will be used to create terraces around the tunnel to help it flow with the natural landscape and increase structural stability. Excavated rock will be used for new construction projects in the area. Once the tunnel is complete, traffic will be highly regulated to ensure safe passages for vessels. It will accommodate about 100 ships each day with onehour windows for traffic in each direction. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $325 million. It is included in Norway’s National Transport plan. The tunnel is expected to take about three or four years to complete. Illustration of the future tunnel entrance. Illustration showing inside the ship tunnel. Images courtesy of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. EXB New & Used Tricones PDCs Drag & Claw Bits Drill Collars Bit Tipping Subs & Stabilizers HDD Bits & Reamers DTH Hammer & Bits Custom Fabrication Junk Mills / Fishing Tools Rod Henderson 661-201-6259 Eran Henderson 661-330-0790 The WWDR office will be closed Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day.