Marti Contractors of Switzerland is awarded the first contract on the world record Ryfast mega-project in Norway with a low bid of €172.44 million.
A total of eight bids were received by project owner Statens Vegvesen (the Norwegian Highways Authority) for Package E02 (Table 1). The contract comprises excavation by drill+blast of the first 7km section of the twin tube 14.3km Solbakk tunnel between Tau and the island of Hundvåg near the port of Stavanger (Fig 1). Project scope also includes construction of two tunnels portals.
Contract E02 is the deepest of all four of the tunnel packages, and at 290m below sea level it will be Norway's deepest subsea link. It also has the steepest gradient.
The spread across the eight E02 bids was just more than €50 million, with the final price in line with expectations. Ryfast Project Construction Manager Anne-Merete Gilje said tenders for the other half of the Solbakk tunnel (Contract E03 of 7.3km long) between the Islands of Hidle and Hundvåg, were called last month (April) with a deadline of June 6 (2013).
Table 1. List of bidders for Contract E02
Bid Price (€)
AF Gruppen Norway
Fig 1. Contract packages on Ryfast mega-project
"We are very pleased to award Contract E02 to Marti and use their solid international experience in the project," said Gilje. "There were many good offers, but Marti won with the lowest price. We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration."
Excavation is expected to start immediately and will mark the end of a 35-year period of planning, realignment, and geotechnical and seismic studies. In the early stages of the project's development TBM excavation was considered, but rejected in favour of conventional drill+blast.
Two more tunnel contracts are expected to be let later in the year - the 5.7km Hundvåg tunnel (Contract E05), that will link with the Solbakk tunnel and run to the mainland via an exit ramp on the island of Hundvåg at Buøy, and the 3.9km road tunnel under the city of Stavanger (Contract E04) that will form a continuous link with the undersea tunnels.
Ryfast subsea tunnel alignments
The total cost of the project is estimated at US$1 billion. Once completed the Ryfast tunnels, at 23,900m long, will surpass the 18,680m-long Shin-Karmon tunnel in Japan, completed in 1975 and currently the longest underwater road tunnel in the world.
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