Solid as a rock: Ambassador hails Indo-Norwegian geotechnical cooperation at IndoRock 2019

Ambassador Frydenlund at the IndoRock Conference. - Photo:Royal Norwegian Embassy
Ambassador Frydenlund at the IndoRock Conference.

Norway’s niche knowledge has a lot to contribute to India’s infrastructure journey, Ambassador said at the 8th Indian Rock Conference-IndoRock 2019 held recently.

The remarks were made as Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund spoke about the importance of rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering for infrastructure development, while attending the 8th Indian Rock Conference as Chief Guest, on Monday 4th November, 2019. For a country like India, which is on a path to rapid economic development, well-developed infrastructure is key to securing development.

“Roads, railways, power generation, communication systems, underground tunnels and storage systems are the very bedrock on which the economy grows” the Ambassador said, highlighting the fact that infrastructure is essential for propelling growth.

In fact, India spends nearly 9% of GDP on infrastructure each year. This includes the construction of power projects, bridges, dams, roads and urban infrastructure development that also supports economic activity in other sectors and industries.

Due to its mountainous terrain, Norway has developed global expertise in constructing tunnels, rock caverns and hydropower plants – making the country a world leader in engineering geology and rock mechanics. Today, Norwegian organisations leverage this knowledge to develop projects internationally.

The 24.5 kilometre long Laerdal tunnel in Norway is the world’s longest road tunnel.
The 24.5 kilometre long Laerdal tunnel in Norway is the world’s longest road tunnel. Photo: Svein-Magne Tunli

While the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) has collaborated with Indian counterparts in geotechnology and geo-sciences for almost two decades, the scope for more Indo-Norwegian collaboration is large. Norway, with its niche knowledge of general geology, engineering geology, rock mechanics, geo-technics and hydrogeology has a lot to contribute in India’s journey towards infrastructure development. Indian and Norwegian companies, organisations and institutions can cement ever-stronger bonds and contribute together to further infrastructure development in India and globally.

Instead of occupying valuable surface land, the Gjøvik Olympic stadium in Norway, built for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, was constructed underground. The Olympic complex constitutes the world’s largest man-made cavern for public use. In addition to the pictured ice rink, it also includes a swimming pool and other public facilities.
Instead of occupying valuable surface land, the Gjøvik Olympic stadium in Norway, built for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, was constructed underground. The Olympic complex constitutes the world’s largest man-made cavern for public use. In addition to the pictured ice rink, it also includes a swimming pool and other public facilities. Photo: Øyvind Holmstad