Casting of the tunnel elements for the 18km Fehmarnbelt Immersed Tunnel between Lolland in Denmark and Puttgarden on the German island of Femern is underway. The first casting was carried out by a 140-strong team from Femern Link Contractors approximately two and a half years after the start of construction of the world’s largest precast concrete element factory in Rødbyhavn in Lolland.
‘This is a very decisive moment and a major milestone in the Fehmarnbelt project’, says Jens Ole Kaslund, Technical Director of Femern A/S, the client organisation. ‘The construction of the factory, the work harbour and the tunnel portal have been a major preoccupation, but now we can unequivocally state that the casting of the elements for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel has begun – and that’s cause for celebration.’
Construction of the tunnel element factory was carried out by the main contractor, Femern Link Contractors, FLC, who have now commenced production of the tunnel elements.
‘Our preparations for the casting of the first segment have been very thorough, and it was vital that the team and the processes during the casting were optimally prepared to ensure that the casting proceeded as it should’, says Sebastién Bliaut, CEO of Femern Link Contractors.
Of the 89 tunnel elements to be cast, 79 are standard elements that are 217m long, 42m wide and 9m high. One standard element is produced from nine castings, also known as segments, each approximately 24m in length. The very first segment of the 711 segments, therefore, has now been cast.
The first tunnel element is expected to be immersed in the Fehmarnbelt in 2024 in the special tunnel trench, which is currently being dredged. More than 90 per cent of the dredging operations have now been completed.
Production of the tunnel elements will continue until 2027, when the final tunnel element for the Fehmarnbelt link is expected to be ready.
The Fehmarnbelt link opens in 2029.