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6 May 2024

The Fehmarnbelt tunnel’s first tunnel element now cast

The first of the 89 tunnel elements has now been cast at the tunnel factory in Rødbyhavn.

The first tunnel element for the coming Fehmarnbelt link has now been cast in Rødbyhavn. The 217m long element consists of nine parts – so-called segments – of 24m each. A total of 79 elements of this type are required, with an additional 10 special elements with space for the technical installations.

The finished tunnel element must now be left to cure for 3 weeks before the next stage begins – the installation of the steel bulkheads and ballast tanks to ensure the element’s stability during the immersion process.  

"It’s a special feeling knowing that we have now cast the first of the 79 standard tunnel elements. Casting such a large concrete structure has been a long and complicated undertaking, but we’ve now demonstrated that technology and methods interact well,” says Henrik Vincentsen, CEO, Femern A/S, the client, which is part of the state-owned company Sund & Bælt.

As this is the first tunnel element, it is important that the experience gained from the casting process is thoroughly and systematically assimilated so that this can be integrated into the remaining elements. Data collection and preparation of the element will continue until the end of May.

"Casting a single tunnel element is a major achievement in itself, but we still have a long way to go. Nowhere else in the world does serial production of concrete elements of this size take place, but this is precisely what we have to master over the years ahead. Our goal is to transform the exceptional into routine practice,” says FLC’s director Sébastien Bliaut.

The casting process will be continuously optimized as the work crew become more experienced. The second complete tunnel element is expected to roll out of the production lines in mid May.

At the opposite end of the construction site on Lolland, the contractor consortium, FBC, is currently excavating the portal and the tunnel trench where the first tunnel element will be immersed later this year.

The construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel is both Denmark’s largest construction project and the largest construction site in Northern Europe. The 18 km tunnel will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel. When the tunnel is finished, crossing the Fehmarnbelt will take just 7 minutes by train and 10 minutes by car.

Connecting Europe
Language: English

Language: English