An ambitious plan to build a vast railway tunnel under the Baltic Sea to connect Finland and Estonia looks set to go ahead after the project secured €15 billion in funding.
The tunnel, which is supported by both countries’ governments, would connect the Finnish capital of Helsinki with the Estonian capital of Tallinn – cutting a two to three hour ferry crossing to just 20 minutes by train.
If completed the infrastructure would be the longest undersea tunnel in the world, eclipsing the Channel Tunnel that connects England with northern France.
The new funding comes from Chinese investment Touchstone Capital Partners, with one third provided as private equity and two thirds as debt financing, according to a memorandum of understanding signed with developers. Late last year the project also secured a €100m investment from Dubai-based ARJ Holding.
A feasibility study on the project conducted last year estimated the cost of the project at €13-20bn but found it would have a huge positive impact on the economies of both countries – effectively creating a major metropolitan area spanning the Baltic sea.