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Germany wins approval for Denmark tunnel link project


Work is likely to start on the 18-km sunken-tube road and rail tunnel link between north Germany and Denmark following the nod from the German Ministry of Transport of Schleswig-Holstein state for the project.

An eight-firm international consortium, led by Paris-based VINCI Grand Projets, won both contracts to build the tunnel and the element fabrication facility in Rødbyhavn, Denmark, reported Engineering News Record.

A four-firm Dutch/German consortium led by Boskalis International B.V. Papendrecht, Netherlands, won the dredging contract, it stated.

Copenhagen-based project sponsor Femern A/S will take 14 days to review the construction requirements set out in the 1,000-page German approval document, said the report.

The company plans to publish a strategy to comply with the approval requirements in spring, leading to some 8.5 years’ construction, .

Seventy nine, 217-m-long precast concrete elements weighing about 73,000 tonnes each will be strung together to form the $8-billion immersed Femern Belt fixed link tunnel between the islands of Lolland in Denmark and Fehmarn in Germany, stated the report.

With Denmark funding most of the work, the Danish government’s Femern A/S is the project owner, it added.

German project opponents still have a chance to appeal against the approval in the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. The pace of any court action would determine when construction could start on the German side, it said.

Because of the permitting uncertainly, Femern A/S was able to award only conditional contracts, worth around $4.6 billion, for the tunnel construction and dredging, in May 2016. The contract allowed for a review in 2019 in case of delayed approval, it added.

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