The Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) has proposed a plan to complete a tender process this year for the construction of the world’s first shipping tunnel in western Norway.

Following government approval of start-up funds, the construction is expected to commence next year with the planned opening in 2025 or 2026.

The total value of the project is expected to be approximately $325m.

The 1.7km tunnel will enable cargo vessels and coastal voyage fleet to sail through Stad.

High waves come from various directions simultaneously, which subsequently leads to difficult sailing conditions for vessels.

However, the tunnel may not be big enough for large cruise ships.

The project is being undertaken by the Stad Ship Tunnel team and will enhance safety and security for seafarers in western Norway.

The new tunnel is also expected to establish a more reliable short sea shipping route.

Norwegian Coastal Administration’s Stad Ship Tunnel project manager Terje Andreassen said: “We will now start the processes of acquisition of properties in the area where the ship tunnel will be located, as well as put in place a project organisation, prepare a tender basis, and initiate a tender.”

The construction of a tunnel to help ships bypass Stad has been proposed for more than 100 years.