The FINANCIAL — NIB and the Norwegian toll road company Ryfast AS have signed a loan agreement of NOK 1 billion (EUR 101 million) for the construction of an undersea tunnel system in Rogaland County, western Norway.
The 21.5-year maturity loan will finance the construction of two undersea tunnels connecting the city of Stavanger to the Ryfylke region, a route that can currently only be taken by ferry or via a long overland detour, according to NIB.
The project consists of the 5.5 km Hundvåg Tunnel, which will link Stavanger to the island of Hundvåg, and the 14.3 km Ryfylke tunnel, which will continue from Hundvåg to the municipality of Strand in Ryfylke.
This is the second loan agreement NIB has signed with Ryfast for the construction of undersea tunnels; the first was signed in 2014.
Stavanger is the centre of the Norwegian offshore oil and gas industry, and hosts a number of major employers in the region. The tunnel project will reduce travel times between by about 45 minutes, and will create new connections to national road 13 and the E39 motorway.
“The project will improve connectivity and transport in Rogaland County, and contribute to efficient functioning of the market”, says Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO.
Both tunnels are expected to be completed in 2019. The project is procured by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
Ryfast AS is owned by Rogaland County, the City of Stavanger, and the municipality of Strand. Upon completion of the project, the company will collect road tolls for a concession period of 20 years.