The Chilean Tunnelling Committee (CTES), including public clients and officials, visited Norway to learn more about the Norwegian Way of Working. This project was arranged by Norwegian Tunnelling Network (NTN) in collaboration with Innovation Norway, which have started a High Potential Opportunities (HPO) Project. This 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.
The Tunnelling & Mining Seminar was held at Cubility’s facilities in Sandnes, where the innovative PureCube solid/liquid separation system is manufactured. Based on Cubility’s experience from operations within oil and gas drilling, the PureCube is now introduced to the tunnelling and general market for separation of solids from liquids. The PureCube being a microvibration enhanced continuous vacuum belt filter which is applicable in many industry segments.
Innovation Norway was also present at this event, and with several speakers presenting the latest technological advancements, with active follow-up discussions. The technical visit initiated at the Cubility test centre, where Cubility engineers held a very interesting presentation. Following this the seminar was held. Here 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.
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.
The largest iron producer in Chile, Compañía Minera del Pacífico, is the main producer of iron are 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.
Later on 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), taught 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).