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Tunnel technology in Chile

Tunnel in mountains in Chile© GettyImages
The mountain nation of Norway is focusing on exporting tunnel technology to the mountain nation of Chile.

The initiative forms part of Innovation Norway’s High Potential Opportunities (HPO) programme for major export initiatives. The aim is to position Norwegian contractors in the Chilean construction and civil engineering market, especially within tunnel design and construction. The goal is to make Norwegian enterprises preferred partners and contractors on specific projects.

Major projects

Norwegian enterprises have opportunities to win major contracts as Chile plans to build three large tunnels through massive mountainous areas:

  • Aqua Negra: a road tunnel project that will cost around USD 1.5 billion
  • Las Leñas: a road tunnel project that will cost around USD 1.7 billion
  • Trans-Andean: a rail project that will cost around USD 3.5 billion

In addition to these mega projects, Chile is generally a large market for tunnel construction. Signing contracts in Chile’s tunnel construction market will require targeted activities and a presence in the market in the form of expertise and local partnerships, as well as a lot of effort on the part of the Norwegian enterprises. The goal is to achieve Norwegian deliveries totalling NOK 2 billion.

Chile is a major tunnel nation and spends around EUR 600 million on tunnel construction per year, compared with Norway’s EUR 836 million. It is likely that in the wake of the pandemic there will be major investments in infrastructure in order to stimulate the Chilean economy.

Norwegian solutions

Norwegian experts have constructed the largest, longest, deepest and most complex tunnels in the world. They have constructed tunnels in water, under water and through mountains. They have constructed tunnels for people, vehicles, rail and energy systems. They have become experts in sensor technology, ventilation systems, safety and digital tools, from the early planning phase to the completed project. They are now well equipped to export products and services to the international tunnel construction market. Around 20 Norwegian enterprises have expressed an interest in participating in the initiative in Chile (see the list at the bottom of the article).

The project for exporting tunnel technology to Chile will run for six years (2021-2027) and form part of Innovation Norway’s High Potential Opportunities (HPO) export programme.

Team Norway

HPO projects bring together Norway’s entire business support system and other members of Team Norway. Norwegian enterprises receive help from Innovation Norway’s regional and international offices, embassies, Export Finance Norway, NORWEP, chambers of commerce and other partners as needed.

Team Norway contributes through a bespoke package of services based on the opportunities in the market and business needs. The activities range from political dialogue, financing, networking and marketing to advice for individual enterprises in the market.

The contributors to the Chile project include:

  • Norwegian Embassy in Chile
  • Innovation Norway’s office in Brazil
  • Innovation Norway’s head office in Norway
  • Innovation Norway’s regional offices in Grimstad, Stavanger, Skien and Trondheim
  • Export Finance Norway
  • Tunnel clusters

The project manager is Arild.Sovik@sovikconsulting.no, +47 950 88 793

These are involved in the initiative in Chile

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