Norway is building the world's first ship tunnel

Helen Cahill
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Norway has announced the most Norwegian thing ever - it's building the world's first ship tunnel.

The land of fjords and elks is building a 1.7 kilometre tunnel through the Stad peninsula in western Norway, allowing freight and passenger ships to pass from Moldefjorden to Kjodepollen.

The new route will mean ships can avoid one of the most dangerous parts of the Norwegian coast - the Stadhavet Sea.

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The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has estimated that the construction will cost NOK 2.7bn (£250m). The project could be underway in 2019 at the earliest, and is likely to take at least three years. But the NCA warned "there are still many pieces of the puzzle that need to be put into place".

The Norwegians plan to use both underground drilling rigs and pallet rigs to carve a hole under the Stad peninsula, and they expect they will be blasting out around 8m tonnes of rock and earth.

An artist's impression of a Hurtigruten ferry travelling through the tunnel (Source: Norwegian Coastal Authority)

It is thought up to five ships will be able to go through the giant tunnel every hour. One of the largest vessels that will use it is the Hurtigruten ferry, a Norwegian cruise ship that has been travelling along the nation's coast for over a hundred years.

It is thought five ships an hour will be able to go through the tunnel (Source: NCA)

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