Fehmarnbelt basins being prepared for the shipping of tunnel elements29 September 2023
The tunnel factory for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel takes another step towards shipping of the first tunnel element into the Fehmarnbelt. Currently, water is being filled into the three large basins in front of the tunnel factory at Rødbyhavn in Denmark.
The Fehmarnbelt tunnel project marked a significant milestone on Thursday, September 21st. In the early hours of the day, the construction consortium known as Femern Link Contractors (FLC) initiated the process of filling water into the three expansive basins located at the tunnel factory in Rødbyhavn.
This project, recognized as the largest construction site in Northern Europe, involves a complex series of steps, and the filling of these basins is a crucial prerequisite before the tunnel elements can be transported out in the following year.
Anders Wede, the Construction Manager at Femern A/S, expressed his excitement, stating, "Our contractors have been diligently working on these basins for over two years. Naturally, we've all been eager to commence the filling process. It's always exhilarating when embarking on a groundbreaking endeavor, and these basins hold a pivotal role in this project. Their sheer size alone makes this a remarkable day at the construction site."
The gradual and carefully controlled water filling process is designed to prevent any harm to the partitions between the basins. Consequently, it is expected to take nearly a week to completely fill them. These pools boast dimensions unparalleled in Northern Europe, with each basin reaching a depth of nearly 11 meters and collectively holding approximately 1.6 million cubic meters of water. To put this in perspective, that's equivalent to the volume of 640 Olympic swimming pools.
The tunnel factory encompasses six production lines, and the casting of the initial tunnel element, part of a total of 89, has already commenced.
These basins serve as a vital connection between the factory and the work harbor, facilitating the transportation of the elements. The presence of substantial gates ensures the dry dock and basins can be filled or emptied as required, allowing the elements to float from the factory to the work harbor and beyond into the Fehmarnbelt.
Anders Wede further elaborated, "With the basins now filled, the tunnel factory is nearing completion. Progress on the two substantial gates that will regulate water levels in the basins is well underway, and within the factory, we've initiated the casting of the tunnel elements. The next significant milestone is anticipated next year when we transport the first finished element." It is projected that the first tunnel element will be submerged in the Fehmarnbelt in 2024.