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Construction Works at Femern Belt Tunnel Given the Go-Ahead

The broad political majority behind the Femern Belt link has decided that Fehmarn A/S can start construction work on the tunnel itself under Femern Belt as of January 1st, 2021.

A unanimous agreement between political parties behind the Femern Belt link means that the initiation of the construction works on the Danish side can be implemented, reported the Ministry of Transport. Femern Belt A/S has already entered into an agreement with the entrepreneurial consortium Fehmarn Belt Contractors (FBC) to construct a works port for the project. The most recent development means that Femern A/S can now also proceed with the conditional contracts signed in May 2016 with the contractor consortium Femern Link Contractors (FLC). This means that construction work concerning the tunnel element factory, tunnel portal on Lolland and residential and administrative facilities will be able to commence on January 1st 2021. The construction work will be ready to continue on the German side by mid-2022.

First tunnel elements in 2023

The tunnel element factory will to be able to start its production at the beginning of 2023. Launching and immersion of the first completed tunnel elements is expected to take place at the beginning of 2024.  

Tunnel opens in 2029

The agreement means that the Femern Belt link is now scheduled to open in mid-2029. Femern A/S has negotiated with FLC about the possibility of commencing work already in mid-2020, but this has not proven feasible, partly due to the current corona crisis. Consequently, the tunnel will open up to six months later than previously expected. However, it is possible to gain some of the time lost regarding those contracts not yet tendered for the installations in the tunnel. These works will be performed in the final stages of the construction process. 

Happy with broad support

The Minister of Transport is pleased with the continued strong support for the project.

“It is an historic decision the parties have made today to initiate the larger construction contracts and to initiate construction on the Danish side. We will soon be able to see the major construction work underway at Rødbyhavn. The Femern Belt link will be a new gateway to Europe and a new gateway to the green transport solutions of the future,” says Minister of Transport, Benny Engelbrecht. He continues:
“Instead of awaiting the finalization of the German court process about the complaints to the German authorities, we are taking advantage of this time to initiate the construction work on the Danish side. This means that many new jobs will be created on Lolland, which in turn will help boost the economy.”

Financed by users

The Femern Belt link project will be financed by its users together with financial support from the EU's “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF), concerning the train infrastructure. Consequently, construction costs do not affect the Danish National Treasury and will not reduce the scope for investments in other infrastructure projects in Denmark.

Spokespersons’ comments

Political spokespersons of the involved parties have the following comments:

“The Femern Belt connection is a visionary project that ties Europe closer together and enriches Denmark. This agreement to start extensive work on the Danish side is an important milestone, which will ensure many new jobs on Lolland in the midst of a difficult time,” says transport spokesperson Kristian Pihl Lorentzen (V).

“I am very satisfied that we are now beginning specific facilitation of the Femern link. We can now look forward to an increase in activity, jobs and not in the least, apprenticeships and internships,” says transport spokesperson Hans Kristian Skibby (DF).

“For Radical Venstre, the Femern project is first and foremost a European project. A project to connect EU countries closer for the benefit of citizens' freedom and corporate opportunity. We are pleased that we have reached this milestone today and look forward to the opening of the tunnel, which will have a great impact on Scandinavia, Denmark and the EU,” says transport spokesperson Andreas Steenberg (RV).

“It is a great day, both for Det Konservative Folkeparti and of course personally, and it is a great pleasure that we can get started on this important project for Denmark, Lolland and the EU. At the same time, we will be able to get a lot of young people involved at a time when we fear for a lack of apprenticeship placements for our students,” says transport spokesperson Niels Flemming Hansen (K).

“The Femern connection significantly increases the possibility of traveling and transporting goods between Denmark and Germany and is financed exclusively by the users and (concerning the train connection) also with EU subsidies. It is an unequivocally good investment in the Danish transport infrastructure and it is extremely gratifying that the construction can now be started,” says transport spokesperson Ole Birk Olesen.

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