Hålogaland bridge and its discontents

Tomas Norvoll, chairman of the county council of Nordland, where Sichuan Road and Bridge (四川路桥) is building the steelwork for a large suspension bridge, accuses Norwegian authorities of “double standards” when it comes to environmental requirements put on state suppliers.

Norwegian steelmakers, he complained last week on NRK, must adhere to tougher standards that make them less competitive than companies from less environment-friendly jurisdictions. “The paradox is that, when the state or we at the county municipality buy steel to build for example bridges or roads, there’s no requirement that the steel should be as environment-friendly as possible.”

Statens vegvesen, Norway’s public road administration, responded to the NRK story emphasising that less than 60% of the steel used in Hålogaland bridge will come from China. The rest, used as concrete reinforcement, is being supplied by a Norwegian steelmaker part of Spanish group CELSA.

Sichuan Road and Bridge, owned by Sichuan province, partnered in October last year with a company connected to Germany’s DSD Steel to win the Hålogaland steelwork tender. They quoted just 2.5% less money than the next cheapest contender, MT Høygaard from Denmark.

I’ve written about Sichuan Road and Bridge’s background in a longish article a few months ago.