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Prequalifiers called for Fehmarn sea link Oct 2012
Patrick Reynolds for TunnelTalk
Contractor procurement for the €5.5 billion Fehmarn immersed tube tunnel between Denmark and Germany has taken a major step forward with the issue of a prequalification call for the main works. A deadline of 18 January 2013 has been set for submissions.
Fig 1. Standard element tunnel, Fehmarn immersed tube

Fig 1. Standard element tunnel, Fehmarn immersed tube

Construction of the 17.6km rail and road tunnel is to be bid in two packages, one for each half of the length. The client, Femern A/S, is looking for up to six prequalified tenders for the eventual bid competition for each contract.
The two-stage tender process for the contracts on what will be the world's longest immersed tube tunnel is due to get under way in the middle of next year. Awards of the design-build contracts are anticipated around mid-2015, following the completion of the respective approvals processes for the projects in Germany and Denmark.
Fig 2. Special element tunnel, Fehmarn immersed tube

Fig 2. Special element tunnel, Fehmarn immersed tube

The tunnel is to be built with 89 elements, including 10 deeper "specials" to house M&E equipment (Fig 1, Fig 2). The standard elements will be 217m long x 9m high x 42m wide, and the maximum weight of each is approximately 73,500 tonne. Each tunnel contract is to include approximately 40 standard elements and five specials.
The client is also currently calling for contractors to prequalify for two other large contract packages - dredging of the seabed and harbour basin for tunnel element construction, plus land reclamation; and, portal structures, ramps and associated land works. Later calls will be for packages including railway construction and technical installations.
"We will announce the prequalified companies in Spring 2013," said Femern A/S spokesman Karsten Holmegaard. He added that the client is "aiming at four to five" prequalified consortia, or companies, per contract.
Fehmarn link alignment

Fehmarn link alignment

Steen Lykke, Femern A/S Technical Director, said the tender process would be conducted in two formal stages.
Stage 1 would be the technical and administrative submission followed by formal competitive process discussions, where they "take a selection of issues we can have a dialogue on, linked to the first submission." Following the discussions, Stage 2 will see technical points updated and finalised for the tender documents and then the prices included.
Companies or consortia can seek to prequalify and bid for more than one contract, said Lykke. Their submissions can include design variations so long as they comply with the Stage 1 and Stage 2 tender documents, he added.
Partial repayment of bid preparation costs is expected to unsuccessful tenderers, so long as they meet certain conditions, such as having gone all the way through the tender process with compliant bids, explained Lykke.
Femern A/S recently prequalified five parties to bid for the risk assessment and safety control of the rail system on the link. The firms are: DNV Kema Transportation, Italcertifer Spa, Lloyd's Register, Rina and Sintef, and TUV Rheinland. Tenders will take place soon for contract award expected before the end of the year.
The eventual winning bidder will be required to certify that the safety of the entire railway system is satisfactory in terms of its design, construction and use. A wide range of national and European quality and safety criteria must be met and described in the project due to be submitted next year by Femern A/S to the Danish and German authorities for approval. European Union directives require railway safety levels to be investigated by an assessor and approved by an independent and authorised enterprise.
Following an anticipated 6.5 year-long construction period, the €5.5 billion (2008 prices) strategic transport link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia is to come into service by the end of 2021. Key design features that enabled a long tunnel solution to be chosen over a bridge alternative included: the possible use of longitudinal ventilation for unidirectional traffic flow, which avoided the need for a central island to be built to boost airflow; and, the adoption of special elements with deeper basements to concentrate the housing of the M&E equipment.
References
Deep data on Fehmarn Link - TunnelTalk, May 2011
TBM tunnel considered for Fehmarn sea link - TunnelTalk, December 2011
Innovations for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel option - TunnelTalk, May 2010

           

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