We are monitoring the authorities’ recommendations and the health emergency closely, and we will obviously ensure that the port meets any new laws and regulations that are introduced in the wake of the pandemic. But there will be a future after coronavirus. We must learn from what has happened and be prepared for whatever challenges the future brings. The project has great potential as a regional emergency response hub, which is something that can be explored in greater detail during the planning process.
The idea for this port was born 15 years ago, and over the past four years we have been working on turning our vision into practical proposals. We have now reached the stage that we are ready to share our vision with politicians, residents and other stakeholders, so that they can give their input on how to convert our vision into reality.
In parallel to this, there is a lot of investment in green shipping, including ambitious plans at the Port of Bergen for the coming decade. A number of other projects to develop ports and fjord tourism will be presented over the coming years, which makes it important for us to explore the opportunities offered by a project like this – including in terms of the pandemic’s possible long-term impacts on port operations and fjord tourism. This is absolutely the right and necessary time to look forwards, plan for the future and invest in the transition to a greener economy.
We therefore hope that the political will exists on Askøy to start the planning process for Kildn, which will help to ascertain the project’s impacts and identify the scope of the opportunities created by the project and how to make use of them.