How to keep business busy during the construction of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link
On the 21st of March 100 participants, including many private logistics and construction companies, gathered at the Hotel Richmond in Copenhagen. The aim of the conference was clear: When and how do we tap into the 41 billion DKR investment that is the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link?

Michael Svane, Director of the Confederation of Danish Industry Transport Division had brought along four props to visualize the different aspects of the investment's importance. Firstly, he showed a bag of earth. The earth symbolized the practical and, literally, down-to-earth aspects of moving and digging ton after ton of earth and seabed in order to build the tunnel. He also pointed out that his native Lolland would virtually expand its geographical proportion into the sea as a result of the relocation of the removed earth and seabed.

Earth, milk and scissors
Secondly he displayed a pint of milk, showing the participants that the many workers employed in the construction work will need food and drink. They will also need services as washing, cleaning and personal services such as haircuts - this he showed by bringing along a pair of scissors. Lastly Michael Svane presented a potted plant, to the amusement of the audience, the plant symbolizing a forest. The Danish saying goes: "You can't see the forest for all the trees" - in the sense that sometimes you cannot see what is right in front of you. This was his message regarding the opportunities the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel brings. The span of this project is huge, he said. And yes, a project of this size will attract large international companies. But remember to see the many opportunities that all the aspects of the project bring, also to smaller businesses.


30,000 m3 of concrete a week
Kim Smedegaard Andersen, Contract Director of The Immersed Tunnel, Femern A/S, gave a comprehensive account of how the construction of the immersed tunnel will impact the harbor of Rødby. The molding factory and dock harbor for the tunnel elements will be the size of Århus harbor, Denmark's largest container harbor. Every week 30,000 m3 of concrete will be used for the fourth generation of molded tunnel elements. All in all 3,000,000 m3of concrete are needed. As Kim Smedegaard Andersen put it, it is rather a "large recipe" with a "cooking time" of two and half years of work, every single day of the year. But all this means that there is a need for upgrading the local infrastructure to, from and around Rødby Harbour. So during 2014 there will be work to do on upgrading electricity, sewerage and drainage.


Watch how the tunnel will be built here  


Language, standards and education
One of Scandinavia's largest Builders and Construction Contractors, Danish MT Højgaard are already prequalified for the tender of building the tunnel and were happy to use local suppliers. Even for experienced contractors the construction of the tunnel is a large mouthful and there will be a need for local help. Lars Fuhr Pedersen, Vice President at MT Højgaard, explained that there a series of challenges to be addressed when working for - and with - large international consortiums: Education and competencies, language barriers, different technical approaches and standards and very long timelines are some of the most important issues.


All in all the conference gave some background information as to what will be needed and was also an opportunity for the many companies to do some networking and share experiences. And last but not lest to encourage companies to work together in order to be able to compete when all the tenders are announced.


For more information about the progress of the project you can visit


Subcontractors can market their services for the large consortiums tendering for the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel


By Anine Asklund