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King Frederik X Inaugurates First Element for Fehmarnbelt Tunnel

Monday June 17 was a historic day for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel. On this day His Majesty King Frederik X of Denmark officially inaugurated the first tunnel element in what will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel.

Among the participants at the inauguration was Minister of Transport Thomas Danielsen, who in his speech expressed great satisfaction that Denmark’s largest infrastructure project has reached another milestone.

“With the Fehmarnbelt tunnel, we get a fantastic and cross-border infrastructure project. It is a milestone in Danish history,” said Danielsen.

Representatives of the client Femern A/S, the main contractor Femern Link Contractors (FLC) and apprentices working on the project were also present at the inauguration.

Construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel formally began at the beginning of 2021 east of Rødbyhavn. Just over three years later, the world’s largest and most advanced production facility for concrete elements has been built, where the 217-m long and 73,500-tonne elements for the tunnel will be produced.

Mikkel Hemmingsen, CEO of Sund & Bælt, which is the Danish state-owned enterprise tasked with building the Fehmarnbelt tunnel, highlighted the importance of the Fehmarnbelt project for Danish know-how in engineering and megaprojects.

“Today is visible proof of how far we have come. Just as this project builds on the experience from the Great Belt and Øresund, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel will show the way for many other major projects in Denmark and in the rest of the world,” said Hemmingsen.

The Fehmarnbelt tunnel is very much a project that reaches far into the future. Social clauses have been included in the construction contracts that ensure that hundreds of apprentices will get their education as part of the project.

During the King’s visit to the construction site, he had the opportunity to greet some of the apprentices who make an important contribution to the tunnel construction.

Andreas Madsen, a process operator apprentice with FLC, together with two of his fellow apprentices, had the opportunity to speak to the King and the assembled guests. His message was one of hope that more young people will choose a vocational education and career.

“As apprentices on the Fehmarnbelt project, we are part of the trained workforce of the future, which will be greatly needed. I hope that by standing here today, we can contribute to reaching out to other young people with the message that vocational education is very exciting,” said Madsen.

At the inauguration, a memorial plaque was also unveiled, which will be set up in the finished tunnel. Also, a time capsule was revealed, where guests at the ceremony and in the project’s exhibition center in Rødbyhavn have had the opportunity to place a small object or a greeting to the future. It will now be sealed and buried near the entrance of the tunnel as a greeting to future generations.

FLC consists of:

Contractors:

  • VINCI Construction Grands Projets S.A.S. (France)
  • Per Aarsleff Holding A/S (Denmark)
  • Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau AG (Germany)
  • Max Bögl Stiftung & Co. KG (Germany)
  • CFE SA (Belgium)
  • Solétanche-Bachy International S.A.S. (France)
  • BAM Infra B.V. (Netherlands)
  • BAM International B.V. (Netherlands)

Subcontractor:

  • Dredging International N.V. (Belgium)

Consultant:

  • COWI A/S (Denmark)

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