Susanne Damsgaard Nicolaisen, Contract Coordination Manager, Dredging and Reclamation

Collaboration is the key

Some 19 million cubic metres of soil has to be dredged from the seabed in order to create a precise trench in which the tunnel can be immersed. Collaboration with the different contractors and consultants – and, of course, colleagues at Femern A/S – has, therefore, to be second to none.

The team spirit and cooperation that have evolved in the organisation are, in my view, unique. We’re working together on a huge, international project and embarking on extremely exciting construction activities using some of the world’s largest dredging machines at sea. This naturally creates a very special sense of community. 

Many people, including myself, already have experience from major infrastructure projects, such as the Øresund Bridge. This develops an understanding of the importance of cooperation and a framework of experience that is difficult to match. You can’t achieve anything of this magnitude on your own; and everyone here knows that. It’s all part of being a "tunnel visionary" – we’re a strong team with a shared objective. 

My team is – in layman’s terms – responsible for dredging a trench in the seabed into which the tunnel will be immersed. It’s crucial for the rest of the construction that this 10-16metre deep trench, which will extend almost 18 km across the Fehmarnbelt, is executed with the greatest possible precision. Achieving our objective requires strict management of the construction work and exceptionally good cooperation with the contractors who are handling the dredging work. 

It will be an enormous construction site at sea, where 19 million cubic metres of soil – enough to build seven pyramids – will be dredged from the seabed at a depth of 45 metres at the deepest point. The soil has to be transported away and then deposited along the Lolland coastline where we’re creating an entirely new land area with 5 km coastal protection and 1.5 km of breakwater in front of the work harbour. Some 1.3 tonnes of stone and rock will be used, the largest of which will weigh 3-6 tonnes. Lolland will therefore grow by more than 3 sq. km, and will be transformed into a new area of natural beauty.