– We can offer great opportunities for collaboration in solving the challenges with the fjord crossings. We have suggestions for the technological solutions, but we need help with the execution of the projects, explains programme manager Kjersti Kvalheim Dunham.

– Therefore, we want to establish contact with the industry at an early stage in order to prepare them, and for us to include their input into our plans. We are confident that we have a lot to learn from the maritime and offshore industry in the big and challenging projects we are facing, she states.

A huge and exciting project

The E39 Coastal Highway Route project deals with improving the existing roads, but also replacing seven different ferry lines with ten different constructions (bridges and tunnels). Mathias E. Eidem, Kjell Håvard Belsvik and Jørn Arve Hasselø from the NPRA are the project managers for the fjord crossings, and for the Bjørnafjord and Sulafjord/ Halsafjord. They presented the various technological solutions that may be alternatives for crossing the fjords. In addition, they presented some of the various research projects in which PhD- candidates at Chalmers Technical University, The University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of Stavanger are contributing in helping the NPRA to obtain the necessary knowledge. The students are focusing on a range of topics, e.g. measurements of external loads such as wind, waves and currents, decomposition of underwater concrete as well as performing socioeconomic analyses.

Bjørnafjorden - complex marine operations necessary

– We are working systematically with mapping all the conditions in and around each fjord, we will tailor the technological solutions so that they are custom-made in order to suit the conditions in each individual fjord. We are in the process of developing a lot of detailed knowledge, and you are important contributors in order for us to be able to develop the solutions, and these very large structures, says Kjell Håvard Belsvik. 

– For the crossing of the Bjørnafjord we are considering building a side anchored or ocean-anchored floating bridge that will be more than five kilometers long. We estimate that we will need about 100,000 tons of steel for this bridge, he says.
– We need help from industries with experience with anchoring and anchor lines, and we need help from shipyards with experience in building ship hulls. Each floating pontoon is comparable to a ship hull and we may need as many as 36 pontoons, he continues. We need your offshore experience, the installation of the floating parts will be an exciting challenge for you, he says.

Sulafjorden and Halsafjorden - extreme wind conditions

Jørn Arve Hasselø presented the extensive wind measurements carried out, highlighting known risk factors and costs. - We have conducted detailed climate analyses in close cooperation with the Meteorological Institute, and several others have already utilised the data we have shared. We have worked well with the offshore industry before, including Bergsøysundbrua floating bridge, and we will do it again!

Digital data can provide a complete overview of each object

Preben Rene Madsen, BIM-coordinator in the NPRA presented the possibilities that accompany digitalization.
– Each floating pontoon will be the size of a handball hall and by developing good systems for transferring data from engineering to construction, then for operation and maintenance, we will have a complete overview of each object at any given time. The open data will be available to all contractors, so we can cooperate in the best possible way, explains Madsen.

An opportunity to rebuild the Norwegian steel industry

Tore Roppen from Kleven Shipyard (Purchasing and Production Director) presented some of the challenges with today's shipbuilding industry in Norway. – As the situation is today, it is challenging for Norwegian industry to supply enough steel for a massive construction like the Bjørnafjord floating bridge that will require 100,000 tons of steel. We only produce 5000 tonnes annually at Kleven, the rest of the steel we have to import from the international market, he says. - It's complicated to import steel, you really have to be a steel producer yourself to understand how to buy steel, he says. There is a lack of steel expertise in Norway today, but The Coastal Highway Route E39-project can be a catalyst for rebuilding the Norwegian steel industry. He emphasizes, that it is good that the NPRA have involved the industry early, so that it can be possible to arrange for increased steel production in Norway, he states.

We want contracts that provide innovation

Ketil Aas-Jakobsen from Aas-Jakobsen presented various forms of contracts and his main advice is to make demands for competence along the way in the process of reducing risk.

– The interaction between the NPRA and all parts of industry is important, and the industries should see the possibilities: the project involves a quantum leap in technology, and joining the project will lead to major international opportunities later, emphasizes Aas-Jakobsen.

Hans Hide from Kvaerner also emphasized the need for early involvement so that you can know the subcontractors, and demand quality reporting on a regular basis. What you're doing today is something good, early involvement is essential, says Hide.

– We want contractual forms that the industry is comfortable with and a form that provides innovation, says Kjartan Hove, Project Director, NPRA. We follow the Public Procurement Act, but we want to emphasize that we are open to flexible forms of contracts, says Hove. As the situation is today, there is more interest in the international market than in Norway, but we emphasize that we would like to hear from you what types of contracts you want. The law on public procurement should not hinder innovation, he emphasizes. We hope you will grab the upcoming opportunities and that you want to cooperate with us, says John Atle Haugland NPRA. "We will do our best to create predictability for the market," he says.

Good feedback and interesting dialogue

– This is the first meeting we have had with this part of the industry, and we appreciate the good dialogue we have had here today, says Helge Eidsnes (Regional Manager, West) and Kjersti Kvalheim Dunham.

– We need your skills, come to us with your expertise and help us! We are open to cooperation and dialogue, they conclude.