Denmark aims at 2024 launching of $10 billion tunnel to Germany

By Curious

Denmark's government has formulated the particulars of an intention to construct a tunnel linking the Nordic region to Germany and decreasing traveling time. It has stated in a bill that the total expenditure will amount to 65 billion Danish crowns ($10 billion) and the project will be in operation by 2024.

The tunnel in the proposal will be situated under the Femern Belt between the island of Lolland. The latter is linked by bridge to the island where Copenhagen is situated, and the German island of Fehmarn, linked by bridge to the continental part of Europe. The bill is anticipated to be voted before the summer and states that the government will emit bonds or gather funding supported by state guarantees. The purpose is to find money for the building of the tunnel. The financial obligation will be returned in 39 years' time with the help of the fees collected by the users of the tunnel.

In addition, the government’s anticipation is that the European Union will provide 10 billion crowns of the total expenditure for the building. The selection of the precise moment of the bill occupies the same time as a deadline for submitting of EU application for the financing this week. The tunnel will shorten the time needed to travel from Copenhagen to Hamburg twice. That means it will roughly take 2 hours and 40 minutes and the tunnel will connect southern Sweden directly to continental Europe.

The proposed tunnel has not been met with appraisal by ferry operators. For example Scandlines, which operates the same destination on water, has filed complaints to the EU, stating that government funding represents state aid not authorized by law. The reply of the government has been that the bridge’s financial model coincides with the model of the bridge linking Sweden to Copenhagen, which has not been questioned.