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Prequalification of contractors for £4.4bn Fehmarnbelt crossing remains on track

Promoters of the Fehmarnbelt crossing between Denmark and Germany have confirmed that prequalification process will still start this year, even though the planning of the fixed link will take one year more than expected.

Project promoter Femern A/S siad it was working, as expected, on planning authority approvals and tenders in parallel. It said the process has been organised in such a way that the results of an upcoming hearing on the projects environmental impact can be incorporated into the tender documentation.

Selection and prequalification of contractor consortiums will begin in the Autumn. Successful participants will be invited to submit bids in the summer of 2013 for the large construction contracts. At the same time the Danish authorities will begin the Environmental Impact Assessment hearing for the coast-to-coast project.

The German authorities will receive the final application from Femern A/S at the latest in August 2013 and an approval is expected to be granted at the end of 2014.

The Danish Parliament is expected to adopt a Construction Act for the project at the end of 2014 and the total cost of the coast-to-coast project’s four major construction contracts will become known at this point in time. Contracts are expected to be concluded in the summer of 2015 and construction work can gradually be commenced from then on.

The construction commencement date has been deferred for one year because more time has to be devoted to authority approvals in the planning phase. The construction time for an immersed tunnel remains unchanged at six and a half years, which means that the planned opening of the link is pushed forward from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

The reason for the one-year delay is that getting such a large cross-border project approved in both Denmark and Germany is more complex than anticipated.

“There is a big difference between how Danish and German authorities organise their approval processes, both in terms of content and approval processing times. Germany also requires much more detailed project designs than Denmark,” explained Femern A/S managing director Leo Larsen.

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