Tunnel breakthrough for North Sea Link
North Sea Link recently celebrated a major milestone, as the team broke through a 2000 metre-long tunnel at the construction site in Norway.
Buried deep underneath a mountain, workers have been blasting their way through the tunnel since early 2016. It’s taken two crews, each working ten-hour shifts, to carry out three blasts to gain an impressive ten metres each day.
The team has overcome many challenges throughout this complex operation – including water leakages and securing the tunnel wall – to reach this significant point in the construction programme.
North Sea Link Project Manager Oddbjorn Strand was on hand to detonate the final blast, which saw the last section broken through. Essential power cables will now be passed through the tunnel, connecting sub-sea cables from the North Sea to the converter site.
To protect the environment, the water used in the tunnel work has been purified in several steps before being released in Suldalsvatnet. The rock that has been excavated is being used to build a new quay-side area in the region.
Oddbjorn said: “Building a new quay-side area won’t just allow us to use it for the installation of the cable in Suldalsvatnet, it will also benefit the community who can use it for the local veteran steam boat, Suldalsdampen. And, in addition, we are building a new picnic area nearby that can be used by the local community and tourists."
North Sea link is set to be operational by 2021.