Chinese companies will construct tunnel between Finland and Estonia
The Finest Bay Area Development company has moved further in implementing the Helsinki-Tallinn Tunnel project. The Finnish company signed a memorandum of understanding with China Railway International Group, China Railway Engineering Company, China Communications Construction Company, and financier Touchstone Capital Partners on the final design and construction of the 100-kilometre tunnel between Finland and Estonia.
The memorandum was concluded on 12 July. “The partner companies are the largest in the world in their own fields of expertise,” co-founder of Finest Bay Development company Peter Vesterbacka said to Reuters. It is the second document signed with the Chinese partners. On March Finest Bay Area Development company reached an agreement with Touchstone Capital Partners on funding the project. The Chinese company will allocate 15 billion Euros for the construction of the tunnel, four stations and the purchase of rolling stock for the future route. In return of the investments, Touchstone Capital Partners will receive a minority stake in the planned tunnel. 10 of 15 billion Euros will be allocated as a loan.
The Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel, also called as the Talsinki tunnel, will improve the connection between two cities and countries. The travel time will be reduced from 2 hours to 30 minutes. The planned tunnel will be served by the high-speed trains. It will also offer a shuttle service to transport cars, similar to the Eurotunnel shuttle trains. Currently, the travel between is available only by ferry or plane. The first mode of transport is the most popular. Last year, the ferries carried 9 million passengers between Tallinn and Helsinki while the planes transported only 0.3 million passengers. The construction of the Talsinki tunnel will increase the passenger traffic between the cities up to 23 million people.
The Talsinki tunnel will provide a railway connection of Finland with the rest of the European Union vi Rail Baltica. The line with 1,435-millimetre gauge will be open by 2026. It will link the Baltic states with Poland and Germany as well as the other European countries by the same gauge. With the help of the planned tunnel, Finland will receive a new opportunity. Therefore, the country has already joined the Rail Baltica project.