The Chilean tunnelling industry - visits Norway

Oppdatert: 30. aug.

In August 2022, the Chilean Tunnelling Committee (CTES), including public clients and officials, visited Norway to learn more about the Norwegian Way of Working. The trip started in Mo i Rana and continued to Stavanger , Flekkefjord, Sandnes and Bergen, where we met local communities, the Norwegian tunnelling industry, road tunnel projects, a mining site and public clients.


Norwegian Tunnelling Network (NTN) in collaboration with Innovation Norway have started a High Potential Opportunities (HPO) Project, which is a new demand-driven export program, where the entire Norwegian support apparatus contribute to increase Norwegian exports by starting a long term cooperation with authorities, universities and the tunnelling industry, in Chile.


At the visit in August 2022, we began a professional dialogue with key stakeholders and experts in the industry, discussing how to achieve a safe, sustainable and cost-effective tunnelling industry. The activity included site visits and meetings with the tunnelling community, and we introduced the delegation to the Norwegian Way of Working, with a close look to projects, methods and technology used in Norway.

Photo: Visit to Mo i Rana and Rana Gruber (Arild Petter Sovik, NTN)


In Mo i Rana, LNS AS together with Rana Gruber AS hosted a visit to the mining project, where we learned more about the mining industry, and the surrounding industry. We had presentations from the mining industry, experts, but also relevant stakeholders in the community. Rana Development Agency introduced the delegation to how the communities in Norway work with innovation to develop more sustainable industries.


The Coring Company presented new innovative way to handle existing data to increase mining and tunnelling production and how to plan operations based on live data streaming. KGRE presented the Norwegian Way of Working, and set the topic for the week. Devico AS introduced us to directional core drilling and borehole surveying solutions, technologies used in complex mining and tunnelling projects.


The major of Mo i Rana welcomed us to dinner at Stenneset. A representative house for the municipality, and a place with a long mining history.

In Stavanger, we had a closer look at the construction of the longest (26,5 km) and deepest (390 m) subsea tunnel in the world, E39 Rogfast. The project management (The Public Road Administration), learned us more about planning and constructing complex subsea tunnels. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) introduced us to challenges and opportunities in planning fjord crossings and implementing subsea tunnels. Later the same day we had a closer look at the recently opened world longest subsea tunnel, Ryfylke tunnel (14,4 km/290 m).


In Flekkefjord, we visited AMV AS, which is specialized in building innovative tunnel machines, suited all tasks in tunnelling and mining projects. Bever Control, which is a specialist company providing computer based guidance and control systems for drilling jumbos, told us more about digitalization of machines in the tunnelling and mining industries.



Later, the delegation visited E39 Herdal – Royskar, where Nye Veier AS told us more about the new contract model, using Best Value Procurement (BVP) method with functional requirements and adopted zoning plan.

The project manager and his team in the joint venture, Implenia Norge AS og Stangeland Maskin AS, started among other things a fruitful discussion on contracts and implementation, and the Norwegian Way of Working in a contractor perspective.


In Sandnes, we had a technical visit at the Cubility test center, where Cubility AS, NGI, Emerald Geomodelling AS and Protan AS told us more about methods and technologies in tunnelling and mining. Trafsys AS told us more about road tunnel operations and how to deal with tunnel safety. On our way to Bergen, we experienced the typical west coast, a road infrastructure with long subsea tunnels, bridges and ferries, and we discussed matters of interests concerning operation and safety in road tunnels.


In Bergen, the Public Road Administration and Sweco AS, presented challenging projects including the connecting route between Bergen and Voss (E16 Vossabanen) and the Bergen Light Rail (building step 4). The Public Road Administration gave us an insight in a multi complex road/rail tunnel project, with specific challenges in how to handle surplus rock from tunnelling. Sweco told us more about complex challenges in urban projects, and how they use state of the art technologies and Building Information Modelling (BIM) in all phases of the projects, including Virtual Reality (VR) in construction management. New dimensions in use of technology and a potential for significant improvements and advantages in projects.


The largest iron producer in Chile, Compañía Minera del Pacífico, is the main producer of iron ore on the American Pacific coast. They gave us an insight in the main operations in the Atacama and Coquimbo regions, but introduce us also to their main goals for sustainability and growth. A very high focus on safety, cost efficiency and sustainability in their future projects.

The project management from El Teniente (Codelco), the largest underground copper deposit on the planet, gave us an introduction to this mega project. The mining started in 1905 and contains of more than 4,500 kilometers of underground galleries. An increased use of tunnels are under planning, and there are set ambitious goals for cost efficiency, Health, Safety and Environment, but also new requirements for sustainability in their operations.


Lundgrens/GMA gave us an insight in how the industry in Norway work on special products to solve specific challenges in projects. Foamrox AS, introduced the participants to products using recycled glass to replacing concrete, to achieve demanding goals for a sustainable future. Trafsys AS gave us a demonstration of the systems at the Traffic Control Center (TCC) in Norway, introducing the Norwegian Way of Working, using one TCC to operate all tunnels in a region. A cost-effective philosophy to reduce cost and ensure high quality for all operational services on a road network. INCITU concluded the event by introducing the characteristics and possibilities of the Norwegian tunnel method.


Present on this visit from Chile, we had experts from both SINTEF and Incitu AS, representing hands on knowledge and experience from tunnelling and mining in Chile/Norway. An important contribution to the program, giving us insight to challenges ahead whenever innovation is implemented in a new culture.


We were also supported by the entire Team Norway, represented by Innovation Norway. A support apparatus with long experience in introducing industries to new markets.


Chilean engineering companies, representatives from public and private clients, together with representatives from the chilean tunnelling and mining industry, contributed to high quality discussion on the selected topics for the visit. A great start on this cooperation!


Next step


In the first discussions between industries, we have identified several opportunities and topics to focus on in the cooperation with the chilean tunnelling and mining industry.


In September 2022, we invite Norwegian stakeholders and suppliers to Santiago to meet universities, research organizations, clients and the entire Chilean tunnel industry, to discuss projects, methods, technology and latest experiences from Norway and Chile. Focusing on selected topics and bringing the discussions, already started, to the next step. The market introduction week in Santiago Chile, will also contain a seminar (27th - 28th September), and we will focus on low traffic road/rail tunnels and tunnels in mining, and learn more about methods, technology and latest experiences in Norway & Chile.


What is HPO?

High Potential Opportunities (HPO) is a new demand driven export program where Team Norway at large (public business support institutions, ministries, embassies, business clusters and business organizations) will assist Norwegian companies to win big international commercial contracts (above 500 mill NOK). Together with Team Norway, Innovation Norway has a central role in finding, validating, executing and coordinating public support and assistance.



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