Since its foundation in the 1950s, NGI has focused on solving geotechnical challenges in tunnelling projects. Large variation in geological conditions means that tunnel builders need a system for mapping and describing rock masses. In the early 1970s, NGI developed the Q-system to simplify rock mass classification for tunnelling and underground excavations. The Q-system has been revised and updated over the years and is still in widespread use throughout the world. 

Railway tunnels and waste water treatment

Today, Follobanen is the largest transport project under construction in Norway and is due to be completed and put into service in 2021. The 20 km tunnel with dual railway tracks between Oslo Central station and Ski, will be the country's longest rail tunnel. Spanish-Italian Acciona Ghella Joint Venture (AGJV) carries out the work on an EPC contract, and NGI performs Third party verification of design and solutions.

"Our task is to verify design and construction methods on behalf of Bane Nor, the state-owned company responsible for the Norwegian national railway infrastructure. There are many challenges, partly because AGJV is an international contractor, with experience from other types of rock masses, who will carry out the contract, and partly because methods and work routines are different. Thus, our geotechnical experience in engineering geology and rock mechanics from a number of other major, complex projects, serves us well", says Roger Olsson, Technical Director in the Building, Construction and Transportation division at NGI.

Another major ongoing project is Bekkelaget wastewater treatment plant, "UBRA" in Oslo. The plant is being expanded in order to increase wastewater treatment capacity. The developer responsible for the project is the agency for water and sewage system (VAV) in Oslo municipality. The blasting work began in late autumn 2014 and expires in 2017, with three to eight blast rounds per day. NGI was  responsible for the rock mechanics and design of excavation and rock support of Caverns, tunnels and underground silos. The plant is due to open in 2020.

UBRA Bekkelaget renseanlegg. Foto Tone Spieler VAV jpg 2000x1100
Bekkelaget wastewater treatment plant (UBRA). Photo: Tone Spieler, VAV.


World tunnel elite gathered in Bergen

NGI participates at the World Tunnel Congress in Bergen, a conference that brings together engineers and mountain technicians from all over the world. HRH Crown Prince Haakon officially opened the conference on 12 June. It is the first time in many years that the conference is organized in Norway. NGI experts are involved With organising the conference as expert revievers, session Chairs and technical speakers. NGI is also represented in the exhibition area.

"All major infrastructure projects these days involve tunnel work or excavations in rock or soil. Therefore, it is important for NGI to be present at the World Tunnel Congress and showcase our reference projects and versatile expertise", says Guro Grøneng, Director for the Building, Construction and Transportation division at NGI.

NGI is involved in numerous tunnel and underground projects both in Norway and abroad. Since the late 70s, NGI has been host to a number of international experts seeking to learn more about tunnel technology and NGI's unique Q-system.