On 1 August, the Danish Transport Minister, Benny Engelbrecht (S), met his opposite number, Bernd Buchholz from Schleswig-Holstein in Rødbyhavn, to inspect the construction works already started on the site, and to confirm the backing of their respective governments for the Fehmarnbelt project and the process. Buchholz stated that the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig was ready to hear the verbal complaints against the plan approval for the Fehmarnbelt project in 2020.
On 12 April, Femern A/S is awarded an 'immediate enforcement order' by APV-SH, the approvals authority in Schleswig-Holstein, to go ahead with a number of preparatory construction works at the site near Puttgarden on Fehmarn. The first environment-related works for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link on the German side can be started.
On 26 March, Femern A/S submits a plan for the next phase of the project, and the political parties behind the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link project reach political agreement on commencement of construction works in Denmark. The agreement requests Femern A/S to reach agreement with the two contractor consortia, Femern Link Contractors and Fehmarn Belt Contractors, to begin the first construction works on Lolland:
- Establishment of a work harbour at Rødbyhavn
- The construction of parts of a tunnel elements factory at Rødbyhavn
- Establishment of a tunnel portal on Lolland
- Establishment of accommodation and administration facilities
- Ordering of special marine equipment
- Other lesser preparatory works
On 6 February, the final signed plan approvals are presented to Femern A/S by APV-SH, the approvals authority in Schleswig-Holstein. The plan approval runs to a total of 1,346 pages, and marks the conclusion of a process stretching over five years, since the project application was submitted in 2013. The process included two comprehensive public consultation processes for the application in Germany.
The approval means that there is now agreement between the Danish state (Femern A/S) and the German authorities on how the project should be implemented specifically, and how the construction works should be carried out.
It is normal practice in Germany for opponents of an infrastructure project to submit objections concerning planning approval to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. Time is allowed for this in the project's time schedule.
On 28 December, Femern A/S receives the administrative plan approval ready for signing from APV-SH, the approval authority in Schleswig-Holstein. Femern A/S now has 14 days in which to submit factual and editorial comments to the approval before it can be signed.
Upon receipt of the plan approval, Transport Minister Ole Birk Olesen asks Femern A/S to draw up a specific plan during the spring of 2019 for the next phase of the project.
On 22 March, the Transport Ministry in Schleswig-Holstein issues a press release announcing that German plan approval for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link can be expected in late 2018, and that the consultation process in Germany can be regarded as concluded.
The new Transport Minister in Schleswig-Holstein, Dr. Bernd Buchholz, meets his Danish opposite number, Ole Birk Olesen (LA) at the site of the proposed Fehmarn construction site in Rødbyhavn. Buchholz confirms that the plan approval for the tunnel is expected during the summer of 2018.
June – July 2017
The planning authority in Kiel conducts and concludes an extensive round of consultation meetings with the German authorities, the public, landowners affected, environmental protection organizations and businesses concerning the project application submitted by Femern A/S. Femern A/S and its (primarily German) experts attend all meetings to answer questions. At this point, the 14,000-page application from Femern A/S for a German construction permit has been through two full consultation rounds, during which the entire project has been presented and questions answered.
Femern A/S submits a 10,000-page response to objections received during the consultations held in Germany. Each of the 12,600 objectors receives a personal letter in response to their question.
The approval authority in Kiel concludes its second round of written consultations on the extended application submitted by Femern A/S for plan approval in Germany. 12,600 responses have been received.
On 30 May, Femern A/S signed conditional contracts with the two winning consortia for the four major tunnel contracts. The contracts cover dredging of a tunnel trench in the Fehmarnbelt, land reclamation, construction of temporary work harbours at Rødbyhavn and Puttgarden, building the tunnel element factory, casting and immersion of tunnel elements on the seabed and construction of portals and ramps on the Danish and German sides.
Read more about the contractors for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link here.
On Friday, 4 March, the Danish political parties behind the Fehmarn project mandated Femern A/S to appoint the preferred bidders for the main tunnel contracts with the aim of signing conditional contracts no later than mid-May 2016.
'Conditional contracts' implies that a final, binding construction contract will be signed with the winning contractors, but that the actual construction works will not be started until the German construction permit is in place. The contracts will be valid until the end of 2019, with the option of renegotiation at that time.
The wording of the document dated 4 March 2016 from the political parties behind the project can be found here.
View the preferred bidders for the main tunnel contracts here.
On 29 February, Femern A/S concludes the plan revision and submits the German construction and environment permit to the independent approval authority in Kiel. The application has increased in size to 14,000 pages.
The plan revision documents provide responses to the over 3,000 objections and comments received in 2014 and 2015 from authorities, the public, businesses and environmental protection organizations. The original application from October 2013 has therefore been further improved. The first round of consultations is now concluded.
On 11 February, Femern A/S publishes "Financial analysis for the Fehmarnbelt project incl. Danish landworks, February 2016". The financial analysis for the Fehmarnbelt project is based on a comprehensive review of the key parts of the budget. It includes external quality assurances of the contracts, the risk, the German process and project reserves conducted by accounting and consulting firm, EY, as well as an external quality assurance of the traffic figures by consultants COWI for Denmark’s Ministry of Transport and Building.
Financial analysis of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link including Danish landworks.pdf
The EY report can be found on the Danish Ministry of Transport and Building's website, here.
The COWI report can be found on the Danish Ministry of Transport and Building's website, here.
On 15 September, Femern A/S receives the final and binding bids from the nine prequalified consortia for the four major civil works contracts for the tunnel.
On 28 April, the Danish Parliament passes the proposed Construction Act for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link and the Danish landworks. The Act becomes effective as from May 2015.
The Act grants the state-owned companies Femern A/S and A/S Femern Landanlæg authority to construct and operate a Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link and the associated landworks in Denmark.
The Construction Act includes the final EIA approval for the project in Denmark.
Find the Construction Act here.
Read the Danish Transport Ministry's press release here.
On 25 February, the Minister of Transport, Magnus Heunicke, presents a draft bill on the construction and operation of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link with associated Danish landworks to the Danish Parliament.
Find the draft Construction Act here.
Between 28 November 2014 and 5 January 2015, the draft Construction Act for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link and associated land facilities in Denmark are published for public consultation.
During the same period, the addendum to the EIA report for a fixed link over Fehmarnbelt (coast-to-coast) is published for public consultation.
Prior to the public consultation on the EIA addendum, an information meeting was held for directly-affected landowners on Lolland, at which changes to the project were presented and questions could be asked related to the EIA addendum.
The responses and minutes from public consultation can be found at vvmdokumentation.femern.dk, where the EIA report and addendum, including all background reports, can also be found.
Seven major consortia are prequalified to tender for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel’s electrical and mechanical installations and for the installation of the electricity sub-station, which will supply the tunnel and trains. Prequalification was started in December 2013.
The first round of written consultations for the Fehmarnbelt project in Germany is concluded. The German planning authority, LBV Kiel, has received around 3,000 responses from the public, organisations and authorities.
On 5 May, the German approval authority in Schleswig-Holstein, LBV Kiel, formally publishes details of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel project as part of the German approval process. The application is made available for the public and organisations to study the documents, and to give their own reactions and objections.
The first German application can be read digitally via our website at http://pfv.femern.dk
On 18 October, Femern A/S submits the full German application for plan approval of the Fehmarnbelt project in Germany. The official handover to the German plan approval authority in Kiel is witnessed by Schleswig-Holstein's Transport Minister, Reinhard Meyer. Femern A/S has prepared the 11,000-page application in consultation with LBV Lübeck, responsible for the road element of the project on the German side.
Press release from the State Company for Road Construction and Transport of Schleswig-Holstein (LBV-SH)
Fact sheet on the German application for plan approval of the Fehmarnbelt project
The Danish public consultation on the Fehmarnbelt project based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from Femern A/S ends on 20 September. During the 12-week long consultation period, Danish authorities, businesses and the public submit 42 responses.
The EIA report for which the Transport Ministry now opens a public consultation period, is based on more than four years of extensive study by Femern A/S.
During the consultation period, the ministry and Femern A/S hold a public meeting on Lolland on the impact of the tunnel project on the environment, people and the local area, attended by over 200 locals.
Three-month public consultation in Denmark on the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link gave 42 responses
Full house for public meeting on the environmental impact of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel.
On 27 August, more than 60 senior executives from the nine prequalified international consortia for the four major civil works contracts meet with the management and contract managers of Femern A/S. The meeting, held in Copenhagen, marks the start of the bidding process and gives the consortia the opportunity to meet the Board of Management and contract managers at Femern A/S.
Nine international contractor consortia attend first briefing with Femern A/S
On 28 June, the Danish Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt is published for evaluation by the authorities and the public. During the consultation period, the public, authorities, NGOs and businesses all have the opportunity to state their views, proposals and comments.
EIA report for a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt submitted for public consultation
On 27 May, Femern A/S prequalifies nine international contractor consortia to bid on the four major civil works contracts for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link. All the consortia that applied have proven strong enough to be invited to bid.
Femern A/S prequalifies international contractors
On 2 October, Femern A/S starts the process of prequalification for contractors, giving the international construction industry the first details of the project.
Prequalification process for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel
Femern A/S publishes a revised time schedule for the immersed tunnel. The revision is due to the process of getting such a large cross-border project approved in both Denmark and Germany proving to be even more complex than expected.
Regulatory approvals need more time
As a consequence of the decision taken in June 2011 to locate the tunnel production site in Rødbyhavn, Femern A/S prepares a revised construction estimate and time schedule for the immersed tunnel in August of the same year.
On 1 June, the Danish political parties behind the project accept the recommendation of Femern A/S to locate the production site for the tunnel elements in Rødbyhavn. The selection of Rødbyhavn at such an early stage of planning is due to a new requirement from the EU, which demands that all crucial parts of the project, including production facilities, must be included as an integrated part in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the entire project.
Recommendations to the Transport Minister from Femern A/S on the selection of Rødbyhavn as production site
The Danish political parties behind the project declare an immersed tunnel to be the preferred technical solution. The decision is based on a recommendation from Femern A/S from November 2010.
Preferred technical solution recommended by Femern A/S for the EIA process, November 2010
On 10 July, the German Bundesrat (second chamber) passes the act ratifying the 2008 German-Danish State Treaty.
On 18 June, the German Bundestag passes the act on ratification of the German-Danish State Treaty.
On 26 March, the Danish Parliament passes a planning act for the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, tabled by Transport Minister Lars Barfoed (K), with votes from the coalition government parties the Liberal-Democratic Party and the Danish Conservative Party, along with the Danish People's Party, Social Democratic Party, Liberal Alliance, Social Democrat Party, Danish Social-Liberal Party and Socialist People’s Party, and ratifies the State Treaty with Germany.
Act on the project engineering of a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt with associated landworks
The EU Commission decides to grant DKK 1.5 billion in subsidies for the Fehmarn project for the period 2007-2013, to undertake the necessary surveys and preparations. The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link is designated a key project with regard to binding Scandinavia and Central Europe closer together.
The Transport Ministers of Denmark and Germany, Carina Christensen (K) and Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD), sign the State Treaty on a fixed link over Fehmarnbelt between the Danish island of Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn
State Treaty between Denmark and Germany
On 29 June, the Transport Ministers of Denmark and Germany, Flemming Hansen (K) and Wolfgang Tiefensee, sign a declaration of intent on the establishment of a fixed Fehmarnbelt link.
The Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (V), and the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (SPD), agree to start an initiative to build a fixed link under the Fehmarnbelt during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Bonn-Copenhagen declarations. This gives the Transport Ministers of both countries a mandate to draw up financing models.
The Danish Traffic Minister, Flemming Hansen (K), meets his German colleague Manfred Stolpe (SPD) in Berlin. They sign a joint declaration on working towards the realisation of a fixed link lover the Fehmarnbelt.
Traffic Minister, Sonja Mikkelsen (S), and the German Federal Ministry for Roads present a feasibility study of eight different proposals for the engineering of a Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, and a budget for the project.
The Danish Traffic Minister, Kaj Ikast (K), and his German colleague Günther Krause (CDU), agree to start initial studies concerning a fixed link. The studies were conducted between 1995 and 1999.
The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link appears on the agenda of the Danish Parliament for the first time. The Danish Traffic Minister, Kaj Ikast (K), signs the State Treaty on the Öresund Fixed Link with his Swedish colleague, Georg Andersson (S). At the request of Sweden, Denmark undertakes to study options for building a fixed link over the Fehmarnbelt.