Historical archive

Further review of salvage of German submarine U-864

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs

The Government commissioned an external quality assurance report on the proposal for raising the wreck of the German submarine U-864 off the west coast of Norway. This has now been presented, and identifies a number of uncertainties. An accident involving release of the mercury cargo would be a threat to the marine and coastal environment. It has therefore been decided to commission an in-depth review to ensure that any salvage operation is properly planned, takes full account of environmental concerns, and has an acceptable level of risk.

The Government commissioned an external quality assurance report on the proposal for raising the wreck of the German submarine U-864 off the west coast of Norway. This has now been presented, and identifies a number of uncertainties. An accident involving release of the mercury cargo would be a threat to the marine and coastal environment. It has therefore been decided to commission an in-depth review to ensure that any salvage operation is properly planned, takes full account of environmental concerns, and has an acceptable level of risk.

“The Government has not changed its standpoint. We will take into account safety concerns, the productive marine and coastal environment and the interests of people who live along the coast and find the best possible way of dealing with the wreck. We cannot afford a failed salvage operation, with the environmental risk this would entail. The most responsible course of action now is to make sure we have all the information we need before proceeding,” said Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.

The Government has therefore decided to commission an in-depth review of the option of raising the wreck. The solution chosen must satisfy all environmental concerns, and project management and risk levels must be acceptable. To ensure that a satisfactory solution is found, the Government has decided that the review is also to consider the option of capping the wreck and a combination of capping and salvage.

When the review has been completed, the Government will report back to the Storting in an appropriate manner. The company or companies commissioned will be selected among those already pre-qualified to carry out reviews of this type. The choice will be made in consultation with the Ministry of Finance.

“The review will be started as soon as possible. The quality assurance report makes it clear that we are not pressed for time. We must use the time we have to find the best possible way of dealing with the mercury pollution,” concluded Ms Berg-Hansen.


The Dovre Group and the Institute of Transport Economics were commissioned by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs and the Ministry of Finance to draw up an external quality assurance report on project management and cost estimates for the proposal for raising U-864. This was presented to the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs on 16 December 2009.

 

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