Femern Link Contractors joint venture has received notice to proceed from the Danish Government for the construction of what it claims to be the world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel, the Fehmarnbelt link between Denmark and Germany.

The approval allows the joint venture to proceed with two contracts covering construction of the immersed tunnel and the tunnel element factory that will manufacture the precast tunnel elements and a contract for the construction of the portal structures, toll buildings, bridges and ramps.

COWI is serving as consulting engineer for the three contracts. VINCI Construction is the lead company for the first two contracts while Per Aarsleff is the lead company for the third contract.

The joint venture includes VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Per Aarsleff, Solétanche-Bachy International, CFE NV, Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau, Max Bögl Stiftung & Co, BAM Infra, BAM International and Dredging International. The three contracts are worth €3.4bn in total.

The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel extends 18km connecting Denmark’s Lolland Falster region with Germany’s Schleswig Holstein region.

With electrified, double-track railway and a four-lane motorway, the travel time between Germany and Denmark could also be reduced to less than ten minutes via train.

Two public undertakings FemernLandanlæg and Femern have been entrusted with the responsibility of the planning, construction and operations of the project.

While FemernLandanlæg will undertake the Danish hinterland connections, Femern will take up coast-to-coast infrastructure.

Recently, the European Commission has announced that the Fehmarn Belt rail-road link is in-line with EU state aid rules.

Illustration of Fehmarnbelt link immersed road and rail tunnel. (Credit: Femern A/S/Skyfish)