Fehmarnbelt launches tender process for €200m rail contract

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When complete, the 18km Fehmarnbelt tunnel will be the world’s longest immersed tube tunnel.

Tender process opens for major road and rail tunnel between Germany and Denmark.

Femern, the organisation delivering the Fehmarnbelt rail and road tunnel between Germany and Denmark, has launched the tender process for its DKK1.5bn (€200m) railway track and catenary systems construction contract.

Femern is inviting tenders for the last of the major contracts for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel to Germany. It concerns a 25 km railway section equipped with a catenary system and with a focus on climate-friendly solutions.

The tender – known as the TTC (tunnel track and catenary) contract – comprises a 200kmh dual-track railway, as well as overhead contact lines, of which about 18km are in the tunnel itself and about 7km beyond it on the Danish and German sides.

The 18km Fehmarnbelt tunnel will be the world’s longest immersed tube tunnel and also the world’s longest underwater road and rail tunnel when the project is complete. The immersed tube tunnel will have a four-lane motorway and two electrified rail lines connecting the Danish island of Lolland with the German island of Fehmarn.

The tender starts with a pre-qualification process, with the objective of getting the best and most appropriate bidders on board and providing optimal competition. Femern’s tender requirements include that the tenderer must have a significant annual turnover and solvency ratio as well as documented experience in carrying out similar tasks. In addition, there are timetable expectations, fulfilment of CSR requirements and climate-friendly solutions.

Kirsten Christensen, contract director at Femern A/S, who has responsibility for the railway installations, said: “The railway is a contribution to the green transition of the transport sector, where freight and passenger traffic will have greatly improved opportunities for fast and direct travel. It is also important for us to have a construction and operational phase that is as climate neutral as possible. So, as with the other major contracts, we have a special focus on climate-friendly solutions in this tender too, including the technical solutions and choice of materials.”

Femern conducted a market survey in 2022 to ensure the best possible tender. This included the industry being consulted to obtain the latest knowledge on sustainable solutions. At the same time, it was an indication to the market to come together and create potential consortia for the task, said Christensen.

“Based on the information that was returned during the market survey, we’re anticipating that several well-known international players will bid for the contract. We look forward to completing the tender and finding the best possible partner for this key task in the overall project,” she said.
Femern expects the pre-qualification to take place this summer. After that, tender negotiations will be carried out until the end of 2024, when the contract will be awarded.

The initial work on the TTC contract is expected to commence in 2025. When the Fehmarnbelt tunnel is completed in 2029, it will be a green shortcut for the transport of freight and passengers to Europe with a journey time of seven minutes. This will avoid the current detour of approximately 160km.

Click here to view the tender for the TTC contract.